If you are experiencing a sore throat or hoarseness, Ernest M. Myers, M.D., F.A.C.S. can diagnose and treat the underlying condition. Dr. Myers, of Silver Spring ENT & Laser Center, is a well-respected ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist and surgeon who is committed to providing the residents of Silver Spring and Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia with the most advanced and comprehensive care available. Call or schedule an appointment online.

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What conditions does an ENT treat?

Along with sore throats caused by swollen tonsils or bacterial infections, ENTs also treat a wide variety of medical conditions pertaining to the throat, larynx (voice box), and the upper digestive tract (esophagus), including:

  • Certain voice disorders caused by polyps, nodules,or tumors
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Surgical removal of tumors or polyps
  • Neck masses, e.g. parotid, thyroid, or neck metastatic carcinoma
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

How does GERD affect my throat?

Often thought of as a stomach issue, GERD occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus due to weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter. When this ring of muscles at the bottom of the esophagus does not close properly, acidic contents from the stomach “reflux” or come back up into the esophagus. Ernest M. Myers, M.D., F.A.C.S. is well-versed in diagnosing and effectively treating GERD.

GERD can affect adults, children, and infants. If not treated, it can cause:

  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Heartburn
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Choking sensation

What is a tonsillectomy?

Most commonly associated with children, tonsillectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils, which are small glands located at the back of your throat. When healthy, these glands contain white blood cells that help your body fight infections. But they sometimes become enlarged or infected themselves. If you’re having frequent bouts of tonsillitis or strep throat, regardless of your age, Ernest M. Myers, M.D., F.A.C.S. may recommend tonsillectomy.

A tonsillectomy may also help with other problems caused by enlarged tonsils, including:

  • Breathing problems
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea (when you stop breathing stops during sleep)
  • Difficulty swallowing chewy foods, meats

When should I see an ENT for hoarseness?

The most common cause of hoarseness is swelling of the vocal folds of the larynx (voice box). The swelling is often due to colds or other upper respiratory infections. Sometimes the hoarseness is caused by benign growths or polyps on the vocal folds due to strain, such as singing loudly or frequent, prolonged yelling. More serious issues such as laryngeal cancer can also cause unexplained hoarseness.

You should consider seeing Ernest M. Myers, M.D., F.A.C.S. regarding your symptoms if:

  • The hoarseness lasts longer than three weeks
  • You do not have a cold
  • You have trouble swallowing
  • You also have a lump in your neck
  • You have pain with speaking or swallowing
  • You are a singer or often speak in public and are unable to work
  • You are a smoker and experience persistent hoarseness