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Throat Conditions and Diagnoses

Throat Conditions and Diagnoses | Advanced ENT Services

Providers at Advanced ENT Services offer care for a range of conditions involving the throat, including acid reflux, chronic coughing, hoarseness, feeding issues, throat pain, snoring, sleep apnea and much more. 


Request An Appointment or Refer a Patient | Call 914.693.7636.

Please fill out this brief form to request an appointment.

A representative from WMCHealth Physicians Advanced ENT Services will call you at the phone number you include on this form. We accept most insurances including Medicare and Medicaid; please be sure to ask the practice representative who calls you if we accept your insurance plan. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.


Throat Conditions and Diagnoses

Providers at Advanced ENT Services provide care for a wide range of throat conditions and diagnoses.

Select a condition below for more information. (Learn more about throat-related surgeries and procedures.)


Acid Reflux (GERD)


Acid reflux, also known as heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common condition that affects up to one in five adults in the U.S. Acid reflux can produce pain and discomfort in the upper chest, sometimes involving the neck and throat. These symptoms occur when digestive acids in the stomach breach the lower esophageal sphincter, which connects the throat to the stomach. Treatment may be provided by an ENT physician, as well as other specialists, such as gastroenterologists.


Articulation and Pronunciation Problems


Children who struggle with articulation and pronunciation may benefit from a consultation with a provider at Advanced ENT services. ENT Physicians may also serve adult patients struggling with articulation and pronunciation as a result of hearing loss or other hearing-related illnesses.


Chronic Cough, Throat Clearing, Coughing While Drinking


Chronic coughing or throat clearing may be caused by a variety of health issues, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, asthma, or even anxiety over the issue itself. A provider at Advanced ENT Services can perform a diagnosis and offer a range of therapies to alleviate the chronic coughing and throat clearing.


Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia)


Though more common in older adults, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) can occur in anyone. Symptoms can include hoarseness, acid reflux, taking a long time to eat, pain while swallowing, or having the sensation of food lodged in the throat or chest. Diagnosis and treatment may be possible through seeing a board-certified specialist at Advanced ENT Services.




The epiglottis is the tissue located at the base of the tongue that is responsible for preventing food from accessing the windpipe when swallowing. When this tissue becomes inflamed or infected, it is referred to as epiglottitis. When the epiglottis swells up, it can block the throat and airway; this often leads to a medical emergency. An epiglottis infection can also be caused by intake of illicit drugs, heat damage, or trauma. If you’re experiencing a sore throat that’s preventing you from swallowing correctly, seek medical care immediately.


Feeding Problems (Infants and Children)


A child who is not gaining healthy weight, frequently choking, coughing, throwing up, avoiding meals (or crying during feeding) may have a feeding issue. Feeding disorders go beyond “picky eaters,” and can be signs of a more severe medical problem. It’s important to see a specialist for an evaluation.


Foreign Bodies (Esophagus, Throat, Trachea/Airway)


A foreign body lodged in any part of the upper digestive tract can cause severe complications, including breathing issues, feeding issues, pain, soreness, hoarseness and other symptoms. Prompt attention from a medical professional is required.


Granulation Tissue of the Trachea


Following a tracheostomy, some patients may experience a complication involving the development of granulation tissue. Granulation tissue is connective tissue that develops as a part of the wound healing process. In some patients, however, this granulation can cause complications that require management.




Hoarseness can be a normal effect of shouting, sore throat, infection and other conditions. However, hoarseness may sometimes be a symptom of a more serious disease, such as acid reflux, thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis or neurological disorders. If you have chronic hoarseness, it may be time to see a throat specialist who can perform a diagnosis and present options for managing the condition.




Located in the neck, the parathyroid glands are a part of the endocrine system responsible for regulating calcium levels. In some adults, the parathyroid glands can become enlarged and  produce too much parathyroid hormone, resulting in a range of mild to severe symptoms, such as kidney stones, brittle bones, fatigue and weakness. This condition can be treated surgically.




The larynx, the top portion of the windpipe, allows air to pass through the lungs and has a major role in sound production along with the vocal cords. The larynx also prevents food and liquid from entering the lungs. When the larynx is inflamed, this ailment is called laryngitis. It can cause symptoms such as hoarseness, coughing, difficulty breathing and loss of voice. Additionally, laryngitis has been linked to acid reflux, polyps, and vocal cord nerve damage. Laryngitis usually clears up within two weeks. Moist air, drinking plenty of fluids, and resting the voice can all help lessen the severity of symptoms.


Laryngomalacia (Congenital Softening of the Larynx Tissues)


Laryngomalacia is a frequent cause of stridor (noisy breathing) in infants. As a congenital defect, this issue is present at birth. Softening of the tissues of the larynx is typically not serious and often resolves by 18 to 20 months of age. However, some infants and toddlers may require surgical intervention.


Inflamed Tonsils and Adenoids


Tonsillitis refers to an inflammation of the tonsils, which are located in the back of the throat. A part of the body’s immune system, tonsils capture bacteria and viruses so they don’t enter the body; tonsils also trigger immune responses when necessary. When one has tonsillitis, the back of the throat may be red, possibly accompanied by a white/yellow coating on the tonsils. The adenoids—which are tissues high in the throat and behind the nose and palate—may also become inflamed and swollen. When this happens, one may experience difficulty breathing and swallowing. Symptoms include:

  • Severe sore throat
  • Painful swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swelling in the cheeks and neck

In some cases, tonsillitis is caused by strep throat. Antibiotics, such as penicillin, may be used to treat the inflammation. Viral tonsillitis usually clears up in four to seven days. If one experiences tonsillitis frequently, surgical removal of the tonsils (and sometimes adenoids) may be required. Adenoidectomies are also given to children who experience ear infections frequently.


Masses And Lesions of the Mouth or Throat


Masses in the mouth or throat may be cancerous or benign. If you notice a mass, it’s important to see a physician for an evaluation. Lesions or ulcers can cause difficulty with swallowing and eating or block the airway; in some cases, oral lesions may be cancerous.


Oral Motor Weakness (Oromotor)


Oral motor weakness refers to weakness of the muscles and structures of the mouth and surrounding facial muscles. The inability to control these muscles can result in difficulty eating, speaking, blowing, chewing and responding with facial expressions. See a provider at Advanced ENT Services for diagnosis and care.


Pain While Eating


Pain while eating or swallowing, also known as “odynophagia,” can be caused by oral or throat masses, esophageal disorders, or many other potential causes. If you or your child experiences pain while eating, it’s important to see a specialist for evaluation and diagnosis.


PANS/PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Strep)


PANDAS is a rare condition affecting approximately one in 200 children. Because this disease presents common symptoms of other health issues, it is frequently undiagnosed. The leading theory suggests that an autoimmune response to a strep infection is the cause of PANDAS. Symptoms of the disease may include motor or verbal tics, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), as well as changes in mood, anxiety levels and sleep.


Periodic Fever Syndrome


Periodic fever syndrome is a group of disorders that cause recurrent episodes of fever in a child; fevers are accompanied by symptoms such as rash, abdominal pain, swollen and painful joints, and mouth sores. There are several types of periodic fever syndromes, the most common being PFAPA (Periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, Adenitis) and FMF (Medterannean Fever).




The tissue that’s behind the mouth and soft palate is called the pharynx. It acts as a pathway by which foods and liquids enter the esophagus and air enters the lungs. When the pharynx becomes inflamed, this illness is called pharyngitis. The most common symptom is painful swallowing. Pharyngitis has been known to occur in conjunction with laryngitis. Rest, fluid intake, and moist air can all help reduce pharynx inflammation.


Recurrent Croup


Croup is a barking cough that sometimes occurs in children between the ages of six months and three years. In healthy children, croup may occur no more than one to two times per year. Recurrent croup is a term ENT specialists use to describe instances in which croup occurs more than two times per year. Recurrent croup may be caused by problems in the airway, such as subglottic stenosis, cysts or vocal cord paralysis, among others. Foreign bodies in the throat, asthma, allergies and other potential causes may also be investigated.


Recurrent Strep Throat


While many people get strep throat from time to time, some children and adults are prone to recurrent strep throat. This may be caused by a weakened immune system, antibiotic resistance, or even proximity to a “hidden carrier,” someone who carries strep bacteria but exhibits no signs. Some studies suggest recurrent strep throat could be a hereditary condition.


Restless Sleep


Restless sleep can be a complex condition that requires the consultation of various medical specialists. Restless sleep caused by obstructive sleep apnea (see below) may be evaluated and managed by an ENT specialist.


Sleep Apnea


Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that is characterized by breathing that quickly starts and stops throughout a night of sleep. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea, which occurs when the throat muscles relax, closing the airway. Sleep apnea can be related to snoring, daytime sleepiness, insomnia, morning headaches, dry mouth and other symptoms.




Snoring occurs when air passes through the nose and throat, vibrating the back of the tongue or soft palate. When awake, muscles keep these structures from relaxing; during sleep, those muscles are inactive, allowing the palate and tongue to soften, collapse, and vibrate with the passage of air. Snoring can lead to sleep apnea, disrupted sleep, and other adverse side effects. An ENT surgeon may be able to provide treatments to open the airway or remove obstructions.


Speech Delay


Speech delay (or “language delay”) occurs in as many as one out of every 10 preschool-age children. Some indicators of a speech delay may include: inability to say simple words by the age of 12-15 months, inability to understand basic commands (“no”) by the age of 18 months, inability to use short sentences by three years of age or tell a simple story by four to five years of age.


Strep Throat


Streptococcal bacteria (strep) can often be found on the throat and tonsils. The following are symptoms of strep throat:

  • Sore throat that’s especially painful
  • Painful swallowing
  • A fever that’s over 101ºF
  • Swollen tonsils and lymph nodes
  • Noticeable white and/or yellow spots on the back of the throat
  • Back of the throat is reddened

Strep is very contagious with an incubation period between two and five days long. Your doctor can test for strep through a physical exam and throat culture. Strep throat is treated with antibiotics and often clears up within three to seven days; healing can sometimes take as long as two weeks. Getting strep throat diagnosed early is important, as it’s possible to spread this illness unknowingly before demonstrating obvious strep throat symptoms.

Stridor (Noisy Breathing in Infants)


Stridor is the medical term for noisy breathing, typically in infants; stridor is characterized by a high-pitched, whistling sound while inhaling. This condition may be caused by an obstruction in the larynx or trachea.


Subglottic Stenosis (SGS): Narrowing Of The Airway


Subglottic stenosis (SGS) is a condition that can occur in both children and adults; it is characterized by the narrowing of the subglottis, located just beneath the vocal cords and above the trachea. Subglottic stenosis may cause respiratory difficulty and noisy breathing. In children, SGS may cause recurring croup. Treatment may be done with balloon dilation, a procedure that widens the air passageway.


Throat and Larynx Tumors


Tumors of the larynx and throat may be malignant or benign. Tumors can obstruct the airway, interfering with breathing, speech and ability to swallow. An ENT doctor at Advanced ENT Services can provide diagnostic and therapeutic care for these tumors and the associated symptoms.


Throat and Peritonsillar Abscess (Quinsy)


Peritonsillar abscess is a bacterial infection that occurs as a result of complications due to untreated strep throat or tonsillitis. Most common in children, teens and young adults, these rare abscesses are characterized by a collection of pus and infection, which can cause swelling, fever, severe throat pain and difficulty swallowing. Quinsy may be treated in the early stage with antibiotics or via incision and drainage.


Throat Pain


Throat pain can have many potential causes, including bacterial infection, acid reflux, foreign body, tissue collapse, tumor and more. If you have persistent throat pain, an ENT doctor can provide diagnostic and therapeutic care for this condition.


Thyroid Disorders


Thyroid disorders include a wide range of dysfunction in the butterfly-shaped gland located just above the collarbone in the neck. An ENT physician, along with other specialists, may provide care for the following conditions and others: thyroid nodules, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, goiter, inflammation of the thyroid and thyroid cancer.


Tongue Tie


Tongue tie (ankyloglossia) is a condition characterized by an abnormally thick or short band of tissue connecting the tip of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Frenotomy (tongue tie release surgery) may be done almost immediately after birth or later in infancy, childhood or adulthood. The procedure, especially in newborns, is quick, and complications are rare.


Tonsil Asymmetry


In some children, one tonsil may be larger than the other. This is known as tonsil asymmetry, a condition that may cause persistent sore throat or neck pain. An ENT specialist may recommend tonsillectomy for asymmetric tonsils, as there could be a potential for malignancy.


Tonsil Stones


Tonsil stones are small calcified lumps that sometimes develop in the tonsils. Bacteria in the mouth and throat could lead to the development of tonsil stones. Symptoms may include sore throat, bad breath, painful or difficult swallowing and ear pain. Oftentimes tonsil stones can be resolved with home remedies. In more difficult or complex cases, an ENT physician can prescribe antibiotics, remove tonsil stones with a brief in-office procedure, or recommend tonsillectomy.


Tonsillitis (Acute and Chronic)


Inflammation of the tonsils, lymphoid tissue located in the back of the throat, is referred to as tonsillitis. Tonsillitis can be acute or chronic, resulting from bacterial infection, such as strep throat. While acute tonsillitis may be resolved with the use of antibiotics, chronic or recurring tonsillitis could require tonsillectomy, removal of the tonsils.


Tracheal Stenosis: Narrowing of the Airway


Tracheal stenosis (narrowing of the airway) can occur in both children and adults for a number of reasons. In some cases, tracheal stenosis is congenital. It may also be caused by radiation therapy, extended use of a breathing tube, viral and bacterial infections, tumors and other causes. An ENT specialist can evaluate the throat and recommend a treatment plan for opening up the closed throat.


Tracheomalacia (Airway Collapse)


Tracheomalacia, collapse of the airway while breathing, is a condition that can occur in adults and children. In a person with tracheomalacia, the trachea collapses upon exhaling, which can make it difficult to catch a breath. Tracheomalacia can also make it more difficult to recover from a respiratory-related illness. Some forms of tracheomalacia are so mild that they’re barely detectable; other forms can be severe and life-threatening. An ENT specialist at Advanced ENT Services can provide diagnostic and therapeutic care.


Velopharyngeal Insufficiency


Velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI) is a condition that affects the muscles and structures in the back of the throat that are responsible for closing off the nasal cavity during speech. In individuals with VPI, these muscles and structures do not function properly, resulting in a gap between the back of the throat and the nasal cavity. This gap can cause air to escape through the nose while talking, resulting in a variety of speech and language problems, such as a nasal sounding voice, difficulty producing certain speech sounds, and problems with speech intelligibility. VPI can be caused by a variety of factors, including structural abnormalities, neurological disorders, and other medical conditions. Treatment for VPI typically involves a combination of speech therapy and surgery to correct the underlying cause of the condition.

Find an ENT Provider Near You in New York

To see a board-certified ENT doctor at one of our many practice locations in the Hudson Valley, please call 914.693.7636 or request an appointment using the form below.

A representative from WMCHealth Physicians Advanced ENT Services will call you at the phone number you include on this form. We accept most insurances including Medicare and Medicaid; please be sure to ask the practice representative who calls you if we accept your insurance plan. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.