Information for Patients
Nose Injuries and Disorders
Your nose is important to your health. It filters the air you breathe, removing dust, germs, and irritants. It warms and moistens the air to keep your lungs and tubes that lead to them from drying out. Your nose also contains the nerve cells that help your sense of smell. When there is a problem with your nose, your whole body can suffer. For example, the stuffy nose of the common cold can make it hard for you to breathe, sleep, or get comfortable.
Many problems besides the common cold can affect the nose. They include
- Deviated septum - a shifting of the wall that divides the nasal cavity into halves
- Nasal polyps - soft growths that develop on the lining of your nose or sinuses
- Rhinitis - inflammation of the nose and sinuses sometimes caused by allergies. The main symptom is a runny nose.
- Nasal fractures, also known as a broken nose
Voice is the sound made by air passing from your lungs through your larynx, or voice box. In your larynx are your vocal cords, two bands of muscle that vibrate to make sound. For most of us, our voices play a big part in who we are, what we do, and how we communicate. Like fingerprints, each person's voice is unique.
Many things we do can injure our vocal cords. Talking too much, screaming, constantly clearing your throat, or smoking can make you hoarse. They can also lead to problems such as nodules, polyps, and sores on the vocal cords. Other causes of voice disorders include infections, upward movement of stomach acids into the throat, growths due to a virus, cancer, and diseases that paralyze the vocal cords.
Signs that your voice isn't healthy include
- Your voice has become hoarse or raspy
- You've lost the ability to hit some high notes when singing
- Your voice suddenly sounds deeper
- Your throat often feels raw, achy, or strained
- It's become an effort to talk
Treatment for voice disorders varies depending on the cause. Most voice problems can be successfully treated when diagnosed early.
NIH: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders