Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff


Mayo Clinic accepts appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System sites.

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Your doctor will ask you detailed questions about your voice problems and examine you thoroughly. A topical anesthetic may be applied to numb your tissues before your doctor uses one of the following tools to examine your vocal cords:

  • Mirror. Similar to a dental mirror, a long, rigid instrument with an angled mirror inserted into your mouth.
  • Flexible laryngoscope. A flexible tube containing a light and camera that's inserted through your nose.
  • Rigid laryngoscope. A rigid viewing tube that's inserted through your mouth.
  • Videostroboscope. A camera combined with a flashing light to provide a slow-motion view of your vocal cords as they move.

Additional tests are sometimes used:

  • Sound (acoustic) analysis. Using computer analysis, your doctor can measure irregularities in the sound produced by the vocal cords.
  • Laryngeal electromyography. Small needles are inserted through the skin to measure the electric currents in your voice box muscles.
June 19, 2015