Recent Change In Voice

What Causes Voice Changes?

Voice changes can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'serious' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose voice changes, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "voice changes" as a symptom.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Larynx Cancer
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
recent onset hoarse voice
increased sensitivity to touch
reduced sense of taste
history of chewing tobacco use
impaired ability to walk
incoherent speech
occasionally feeling unusually cold
not feeling injuries
heaviness of the legs
severe muscle weakness
reduced sense of smell
inability to tell hot from cold
... and so on

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of voice changes:
Cause Probability Status
Guillain-Barre Syndrome 98% Confirm
Larynx Cancer 67% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Mouth/Oral Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about recent change in voice:
Within the past few years, months or weeks, has your voice changed in any way, for no apparent reason?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ A little, I think
→ Moderately - I have had a few comments about it
→ Significantly - Many have noticed it
→ Yes, it has changed almost beyond recognition
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate slight voice change, voice change or major voice change, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Guillain-Barre Syndrome

The patient's voice may change because the vocal chords are affected.

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