My Voice Needs Help – Now.


Know the symptoms that mean a trip to the ENT sooner rather than later…

Dear Dr. Jahn,

How do I convince my G.P. to refer me to a E.N.T. to look at my vocal chords? My appt. With my E.N.T. is 2 months away! Where can I get help for my vocal problems between now and then?

-Kerry

Dear Kerry

I am assuming that you are in the U.K., and dealing with the bureaucracy and overutilization inherent in the National Health System.

In the USA, you could be seen within a week, particularly in high-doctor-density locations like New York.

You didn’t tell us whether you are having vocal problems, or are just curious to get a baseline examination of view of your larynx.

If you are well, with no symptoms such as hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, coughing or spitting up blood, then two month’s wait is probably acceptable.

If on the other hand you are experiencing hoarseness, particularly hoarseness that is not getting better or worsening, along with other symptoms that would suggest a problem in the throat, then you should be seen sooner.

I would assume you could see a consultant using private insurance, or by paying for your visit, although I am not that familiar with the U.K. health system.

In general, however, if your voice is fine, or has not changed recently, and you don’t have any other signs or symptoms suggestive of a progressively worsening condition, you may need to just wait.

Dr. Jahn