I am worried about my husband, a 44 year old who has been having sporadic hoarseness when he sings for a year. He also has some trouble when swallowing liquids. He says it is like he has to concentrate to keep the liquid from going down the windpipe - needless to say, I am worried to death about this. Anyone have anything similar? He also suffers from heartburn.
Hi, there. As a fellow reflux sufferer, I would recommend getting your husband to the doc for an endoscopy to rule out stricture of the esophagus or worsening of reflux that's causing hoarseness and/or swallowing difficulty.
As a speech-language pathologist, I also feel a visit to an ear, nose, throat (ENT) specialist is warranted to rule out growths on the vocal cords that could be causing hoarseness and difficulty swallowing. Try to find an ENT who can peform videostroboscopy or direct laryngoscopy to actually get a good look at the vocal cords.
Thanks, Katie - I appreciate your thoughts. I really do think it is from reflux. I just pray that it is nothing very serious!! I'll let you know what we find out - I made an appointment for tomorrow at our regular doctor and we'll go from there.
He could start with barium swallow test to see if any stricture of esophagus is present. People with esophageal cancer usually develop difficulty with swalowing solid food first, whereas people with esophageal spasm develop troublse when swallowing liquids first. If barium swallow test shows esophageal stricture, he would have to do endoscopy. He may start with endoscopy, like Katie G said, and have other tests done later, if needed.