HPV and Your Voice: When Raspiness Is a Concern

Posted in: Voice News  |  October 25, 2012 
HPV and Your Voice: When Raspiness Is a Concern

 

Hoarseness. Raspiness. Changes in the sound of the voice. These symptoms are common within the world of vocal ailments, but they can be signs of a larger concern: recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP), a type of infection caused by HPV.

 

RRP is a rare condition that can lead to serious health problems over time. With RRP, polyps and growths can develop in the airway anywhere between the nose and lungs. Besides causing vocal changes, these growths—especially for polyps larger in size—can lead to shortness of breath and other respiratory impairments.

 

In rare cases, these normally benign polyps and warts from RRP can turn cancerous. This isn’t the same as directly HPV-induced cancer, but all the same, RRP lesions should be investigated by a doctor at the first sign of vocal change.

 

If a doctor suspects RRP warts or polyps, then the growths can be investigated with a small telescope placed inside the mouth. This process is painless and doesn’t require any device to be stuck down the throat. If RRP polyps are diagnosed, then they can be removed with special medical lasers. However, follow-up treatments are commonly required, as polyps often grow back.

 

If you or a loved one experience any vocal changes, then call our office for a personal consultation. Although many symptoms are minor and easily treatable, it’s important to take proper care early on for the best results.