University of Maryland Professional Voice Program

The Professional Voice Program is equipped to diagnose and treat all voice disorders. Among the disorders most commonly seen are:

  • Hoarseness
  • Laryngitis
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease (LPRD)
  • Muscle Tension Dysphonia
  • Neurologic Voice Disorders
  • Psychogenic Voice Disorders
  • Reinke's Edema (smoker's polyps)
  • Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP)
  • Spasmodic Dysphonia
  • Laryngeal Cancer
  • Vocal Fold Bowing
  • Vocal Fold Granuloma
  • Vocal Fold Growths (Lesions): Nodules, Polyps, and Cysts
  • Vocal Fold Paralysis/Paresis
  • Vocal Fold Scarring

The vast majority of voice disorders can be traced to one of the following causes:

  • Infectious & Inflammatory Disorders
  • Vocal Misuse and Abuse
  • Benign & Malignant Vocal Fold Growths
  • Neurologic Disease
  • Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease
  • Psychogenic Conditions

Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluations

Voice Evaluation

Photo of a woman singing

Voice evaluation offers an assessment of the patient's techniques and patterns of vocal use.

Voice Recording and Analysis

Recording and analysis includes quantification of the voice signal with respect to pitch, loudness, quality and variability, as well as measurement of the acoustic parameters and breathing dynamics.


This technology uses a special light source and magnified lenses to examine the mucosa of the vocal fold in very high detail. This allows identification of subtle scarring or vocal fold lesions that will adversely affect the vibrations created by the vocal folds and may be causing hoarseness or dysphonia.

Dual pH Esophageal Monitoring

This measures the amount and frequency of the flow of gastric contents into the esophagus and larynx over a 24-hour period. This allows for the diagnosis of, and proper treatment for, reflux laryngitis.

Laryngeal Electromyography (EMG)

This measures the quality of the nerve signal reaching the muscles of the larynx. Using a small needle as an electrode sensor, the electrical activity of the individual muscles of the larynx can be sampled, and this provides information regarding the health of the laryngeal nerves. This is often used when a person has a vocal fold paralysis or movement disorder.

Vocal Performance Assessment

This assessment allows our staff to evaluate vocal function ”“ including pitch range, intensity range, and voice quality measures ”“ for later use as a baseline measure. Following vocal training, the data can be evaluated to measure recovery of the vocal function after an injury.

Electroglottography (EGG)

An EGG records the pattern of vocal fold closure, allowing detailed analysis of vocal fold contact.

Laryngeal Sensory Testing

Using gentle but precise, calibrated puffs of air, the sensitivity of the larynx can be tested. There are many conditions in which the larynx may have decreased sensation, including reflux disease, nerve damage and swallowing disorders.

Esophageal Endoscopy

Using a small flexible camera, the esophagus can be examined without sedation. This is useful for the evaluation of swallowing disorders and complications of reflux disease. This procedure is quick, has minimal discomfort, and can be performed in the office setting.

Modified Barium Swallow (MBS)

This test is performed in the radiology suite in conjunction with a speech language pathologist. Several consistencies of liquids and solids are swallowed under X-ray surveillance to determine the extent of swallowing difficulty, any anatomic abnormality, and determine the best manner in which to rehabilitate the swallow.

Fiber-Optic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)

This is often performed in conjunction with laryngeal sensory testing or esophageal endoscopy. This is a swallowing study performed in the clinic under endoscopic observation to determine the function and safety of swallowing.

Most voice disorders can be treated with medications or voice therapy. However, after all conservative measures have been exhausted, there are certain conditions in which operative procedures are necessary. University of Maryland otolaryngologists are trained in advanced endoscopic approaches and minimally invasive procedures to increase the safety and effectiveness of the available treatments.

Comprehensive services include:

  • Voice Therapy: Voice therapy helps people who have trouble talking to other people. Services provided include evaluation and treatment of voice problems in children and adults. Otolaryngologists work in conjunction with speech-language pathologists to improve communication abilities of patients. Voice therapy may be the only treatment needed for some voice disorders and also is used to aid in recovery after surgery of the larynx.
  • Rehabilitation of Vocal Fold Paralysis
  • Botulinum Toxin Therapy
  • Dysphagia (Swallowing) Evaluation and Rehabilitation
  • Tracheotomy Decannulation Evaluation: This evaluation is available for individuals seeking second opinions about the necessity of tracheotomy tubes and the options for removing them.
  • Evaluation of the Aging Voice: This evaluation includes special assessments of various voice disorders associated with aging.