One of the most common complaints patients consult a throat specialist about is a sore throat. Fortunately, most sore throats do not develop into anything serious, and they can be treated quite easily at home. The majority of sore throats are caused by viruses or factors like mouth breathing.
Also known as dysphagia, “difficulty swallowing” is generally a sign of problems with either your esophagus or your throat. Dysphagia is more common in babies, the elderly, and individuals with brain or nervous system disorders, but anyone can have difficulty swallowing at any time.
Hoarseness, an abnormal change in your voice, can be the result of a disorder in the vocal cords (sound producing parts) of the larynx (voice box). Your voice may sound strained and raspy when you are hoarse. There may also be changes in pitch and volume of your voice.
When the esophagus becomes inflamed and irritated, as a result of stomach acids and digestive enzymes backing up into it, the condition is known as gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition adversely affects from 25% to 40% of American adults, to varying degrees of severity, at some time in their life. All ages can develop GERD, however.