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Every man or woman has certainly had moments when the voice suddenly became hoarse. The cause of hoarseness in the voice can be almost anything, from a cold to excessive stress on the vocal cords – the latter is especially common among teachers, singers and other people who often perform in front of the public. Sometimes hoarseness becomes a full-fledged personality trait – you must have met men with a low and hoarse voice.
Usually such a voice is fixed for life due to smoking and excessive drinking. But sometimes the voice can become hoarse unexpectedly, not accompanied by cold symptoms and not the result of bad habits. Recently, a 60-year-old man addressed one of the US hospitals with a complaint of a hoarse voice. It turned out that something terrible was going on in his throat …
Hoarseness in the voice of an elderly person
A man with a gradually deteriorating voice was featured in the scientific journal JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery . In his 60s, he turned to the Pennsylvania State Hospital, which treats diseases of the head and neck. He complained that over the course of 12 months, his hoarseness gradually increased in his voice, as well as shortness of breath. At first, the attending physician prescribed him anti-asthma drugs, but the chosen method of treatment did not help the man. Not noticing improvements, the doctors decided to examine the patient’s condition a little better.
Since the man had problems with his voice, the experts decided to examine his larynx – this part of the respiratory system contains the vocal apparatus. To study the vocal cords and surrounding tissues, video stroboscopy, one of the most effective methods of visual examination, was used. During the examination, it was found that the man had a severe swelling of the tissues of the throat. Not hard to guess, the man’s shortness of breath was caused by a narrowing of the airways.
What is blastomycosis
To find out the cause of the swelling, doctors took tissue samples from the patient’s larynx. Inspection showed that the fabrics have a very loose structure, that is, they tear very easily. Areas with an abundance of dead cells surrounded by immune cells were also found in the tissue. Subsequently, it turned out that cell death and swelling occurred due to the activity of spores of the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis . They are responsible for the development of an infection referred to as blastomycosis . Usually the disease affects the respiratory organs, but the man was only affected by the throat.
The fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis is thought to grow outdoors, in damp soil or decaying wood. In the US, it is especially common near the Mississippi River. As a rule, blastomycosis occurs three to four weeks after inhalation of Blastomyces dermatitidis spores , but often the disease does not develop. To suffer from the fungus is usually at risk for people with a weakened immune system. In severe cases, not only the throat and lungs can be affected, but also the bones, skin, central nervous system, and other parts of the body.
Treatment of blastomycosis of the larynx
The man was diagnosed with a rare case of laryngeal blastomycosis – for the first time this form of the disease became known in 1918. During the course of treatment, the patient was temporarily installed tubes for breathing and eating, bypassing the affected areas of the throat. For a long time, the man had to drink drugs against fungi. About two months into the treatment, the hoarseness in his voice began to disappear.
After that, the auxiliary tubes from his throat were removed. And five months after the start of treatment, the patient’s vocal cords regained their mobility. Apparently, everything is fine with the man now. Perhaps this case can be considered another reminder that for any problems you need to see a doctor as soon as possible – so the disease can be cured as soon as possible.
All this sounds scary, but there is no need to panic, because cases of blastomycosis are extremely rare. In most cases, hoarseness in the voice is due to a cold or the presence of bad habits like smoking and drinking alcohol. In some cases, hoarseness in the voice is a sign of sexually transmitted diseases, so if such a symptom occurs, it is better to consult a doctor – it will be calmer.