Diseases & Conditions
We treat the following diseases, disorders and conditions of the throat at Camino’s Morgan Hill and San Jose ENT clinics:
Hoarseness/Loss of Voice
Hoarseness is the name for any change from your normal voice. Your voice may sound breathy, raspy or strained. It may also be a loss of singing range, tone, pitch or quality. There are many possible causes of hoarseness and an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) should evaluate any hoarseness that impairs your daily life, lasts more than seven days or is accompanied by pain. In some cases, patients experience hoarseness or loss of voice suddenly over the course of a few minutes or hours. Most of the time, this condition is caused by infection, though it may have one of many other underlying causes as well. If you’re experiencing long-lasting or serious problems with your voice, please give Camino ENT a call to schedule an appointment for an evaluation.
Vocal Cord Nodules and Polyps
Vocal cord nodules and polyps are benign growths on the vocal cords. Nodules are hard, callous-like growths caused by vocal cord trauma while polyps are larger, liquid-filled growths that have several possible causes. Signs of these growths may include hoarseness, breathiness, a rough or scratchy voice and pain. These conditions must be evaluated by an expert ENT physician and laryngologist. We may recommend medical or surgical treatments depending on your individual case.
Vocal Cord Paralysis
Vocal cord paralysis is when one or both vocal cords stops moving from nerve infection, injury or trauma. This condition appears as a breathy voice or inability to swallow and can occur at any age. It requires immediate medical attention from a knowledgeable ENT physician and laryngologist with endoscopic experience.
Spasmodic dysphonia is a chronic voice disorder that causes the movement of the vocal cords to be forced and strained, resulting in a broken voice that is often confused with stuttering. If you’re experiencing occasional vocal breaks or spasms; periods without sound; or a voice that’s jerky, quivery, hoarse or tight, you may be showing signs of spasmodic dysphonia and should see an otolaryngologist. There are many effective treatments for this condition.
Eagle syndrome, also known as glossopharyngeal neuralgia, occurs due to an elongation of the stolid process sometimes with calcification of the stylohyoid ligament. This condition is rare and often misdiagnosed, leading to treatments that worsen rather than fix it. Treatments include therapy, medications and surgery. Camino ENT is a center specializing in treating this disorder.
Obstructive sleep apnea is becoming increasingly common in the United States. An apnea is any long pause in the breathing at night, often accompanied by a drop in oxygen levels and an increase in brain activity. It can be a serious and dangerous condition leading to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Sleep apnea presents differently in adults and children but often results from the throat becoming too relaxed or narrow during sleep. Adults should visit Camino ENT in San Jose for evaluation if they’re experiencing chronic snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, waking up gasping for air or other symptoms. Children with sleep apnea may show changes in behavior, attention and appetite as well as bed-wetting.
Everyone experiences a cough from time to time, but some patients have long-lasting symptoms that can affect their overall health and quality of life. It may also be a symptom of a larger problem. A cough is considered chronic when it lasts more than two months in adults or one month in children. Anyone suffering from a persistent cough should seek a diagnosis for what’s causing the cough from an ENT doctor. If there is blood when you cough you should seek immediate medical attention.
Laryngomalacia is a congenital or inborn, weakness or softness of the voice box. It can affect babies from birth and is the most common cause of noisy breathing in infancy. In patients with this condition, the larynx or voice box, is small and/or floppy. This results in the collapse of the airway. It affects both eating and breathing and is commonly misdiagnosed as croup. There are both medical and surgical treatment options available.
Stenosis is a condition describing abnormal narrowing of the central air passage between the nose, mouth and lungs. This can affect the larynx, subglottis, trachea or bronchi. It can be congenital or acquired later in life. It often presents as shortness of breath, squeaky or noisy breathing and exercise intolerance. There are many different tests and treatments available and anyone experiencing symptoms of this condition should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Salivary Gland Infections
Salivary gland infections are common viral or bacterial infections that can affect any of the salivary glands surrounding your mouth. The mouth has six major glands and hundreds of small ones. In some cases, treatment may be as simple has hydration, but you may require antibiotics, steroids,or surgery to fully resolve symptoms. If you have questions about new or chronic salivary gland infections, please come see us.
Salivary Gland Tumors
Salivary gland tumors are rare and most commonly benign but can also be cancerous. They are generally firm swellings within the major saliva glands. These are called the parotid, submandibular and sublingual glands. Most tumors are removed safely with the surgical excision of the affected gland. Sometimes radiation and chemotherapy may be needed for patients with cancerous growths.
Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within the thyroid gland. The gland sits around the voice box and esophagus. They can affect your voice, swallowing and energy level. Most thyroid nodules are benign and don’t need treatment, though a small portion of them are cancerous tumors. There are numerous treatment options including surveillance, medication and removal. Determining the right treatment requires a long and complicated discussion and is based on very specific tests and research. Please see us at Camino ENT if you are affected by thyroid nodules or cancer.
The parathyroid glands are small glands located behind the thyroid gland. They are not related to your thyroid gland at all. They are responsible for maintaining your body’s calcium level. Most people have four glands, but you may have between two and six glands measuring less than five millimeters each. Adenomas are growths in the gland that cause the body to leach calcium out of its bones. They can cause bone fracture, hypertension (high blood pressure), mood swings and depression. They require specialized treatment by both an endocrinologist and a surgeon.
Tongue & Mouth Cancer
Oral cancers are serious and quite common, with about 50,000 cases diagnosed each year in the U.S. Catching cancer early is highly important to effective treatment. Unfortunately many are found very late and can have high morbidity and mortality rates. Any changes in the shape, texture or color of the mouth should be brought up with your dentist or an ENT. People who smoke, vaporize or chew tobacco are at much higher risk of pre-cancerous and cancerous changes of the mouth.
Throat cancer is really a group of cancers affecting the larynx, pharynx, esophagus and/or tonsils. Common symptoms include pain, voice changes, difficulty swallowing and blood in the mucus. People who currently use (or previously used) chewing tobacco, cigars, cigarettes and vaporizers are at increased risk. When found early and treated properly, success and cure rates are very good. There are several different treatment and screening options for patients with throat cancer. Please let us help you find the right treatment and care for you and your family.
Airway papillomas can appear anywhere between the tip of the nose and the bottom of the windpipe or trachea. They are generally caused by special strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Almost all adults are carriers of this virus, but we generally carry different types. Some forms can be pre-cancerous and we believe all should be removed whenever possible. Because these growths are located in the entryway to the lungs, they can impair breathing if they grow large enough. They can change the voice and make swallowing difficult. Please see us if you are affected by airway papillomas.
Dysphagia is the medical term for problems with swallowing, usually involving an issue with the throat or esophagus. There are many potential causes of dysphagia, which include gastroesophageal reflux, trauma, birth defects, neurological disease and tumors. Treatment of dysphagia frequently requires coordinated care from an ENT doctor, gastroenterologist and speech and swallow therapist.
Tongue-tie or ankyloglossia, is a condition present at birth that restricts the tongue’s range of motion. This can cause difficulties with sticking out your tongue, eating, speaking and swallowing. It can also interfere when a child is breastfeeding, making it hard for the baby to suck and painful for the mom to feed. Treatment will depend on the severity of the tongue-tie; it is often fixed with a simple in office procedure.