Your Online Resource for Voice, Swallowing & Breathing Disorders is an online resource for patients and physicians to learn more about common voice, swallowing, breathing and throat disorders. Throat complaints, from cough to cancer, are a common reason for patients to seek medical treatment. This website developed as a result of Dr. Sunil Verma's passions: that of education, patient care, and interest in technology.

Voice Disorders

Your voice is one of the most important tools, and for many individuals is the key to their livelihood. This is true not just for singers and entertainers; most jobs today would be difficult to perform well if you suddenly lost your voice. Although you might not realize it, your voice is also a huge part of what makes life so enjoyable. Imagine not being able to share a laugh with a friend or tell a good story at a party. Without your voice, none of these things would be possible. Unfortunately, there are a number of common conditions that can affect the vocal folds, making it difficult to talk, sing or laugh.

Voice disorders can result in a voice that is weak, breathy or tires easily. They can be caused by vocal fold lesions such as nodules and polyps. Fortunately, Dr. Verma offers a number of options for treating voice disorders. A full investigation including laryngoscopy and stroboscopy should be performed for hoarseness and may reveal problems such as:

  • Vocal cord paralysis is a condition in which one of the two vocal cords is unable to move, causing a weak and breathy voice. Procedures such as vocal fold injections and thyroplasty are able to restore your voice and provide immediate improvements.
  • Vocal fold papillomas are lesions caused by the HPV virus which can be treated in the office with KTP laser while awake.
  • Cancer of the vocal cords and throat can be serious conditions that affect your voice. Advanced treatment using lasers may lead to increased survival and preserve function. Even after treatment, surgery can be performed to enhance voice.

Swallowing Disorders

Like speaking, swallowing is one of the main functions that is too often taken for granted. Swallowing requires extreme coordination, as the muscles of the throat participate in both breathing and digestion. Although it may seem like a minor annoyance, dysphagia, or trouble swallowing can have a far-reaching impact on quality of life. For many people, food is the cornerstone of their social life. In addition to affecting quality of life, swallowing disorders may lead to serious concerns such as malnutrition. Dysphagia may occur with age, after stroke, or after radiation treatment. Some other common conditions that affect swallowing include:

Dr. Verma can conduct many tests for swallowing disorders, including a modified barium swallow study or functional endoscopic evaluation of swallowing.

Breathing Disorders

Breathing disorders can be some of the most severe conditions that affect the throat and can include:

Many of these conditions are characterized by stridor, or noisy breathing. Tasks such as walking up stairs or doing housework may be very challenging, leaving individuals short of breath. Bilateral vocal fold paralysis is a condition in which the vocal cords are unable to move, impairing their ability to allow air into the lungs. Subglottic stenosis is a narrowing of the airway as the result of scarring, inflammation, and other causes, often times as the result of intubation. Finally, vocal cord dysfunction is an abnormal closing of the vocal cords during breathing.

The management of breathing disorders is very complex and requires precise surgery to enhance an individual’s ability to breathe while maintaining the ability to speak and swallow. Microsurgery using lasers and high pressure balloons can markedly change someone’s life, restoring the ability to breathe easily.

About Dr. Sunil P. Verma

Dr. Sunil Verma is a dedicated otolaryngologist serving patients in the Orange County area from his Irvine and Orange offices. He obtained subspecialty training in Laryngology and specializes in minimally invasive treatments for voice disorders. He is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology, just one of many indicators of his high level of expertise.

Dr. Verma has received degrees from Dartmouth College and the University of Southern California – Keck School of Medicine. He has also trained at Los Angeles County Hospital and the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Dr. Verma is passionate about helping all of his patients resolve their voice, swallowing, and breathing disorders, especially those who use their voices for a living.

Learn more.