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Let’s Talk About Your Throat: Ask an Expert
Friday, April 11, 2014 - 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

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Claudio F. Milstein, PhD, CCC-SLP

  • Director, The Voice Center
  • Head & Neck Institute
  • Cleveland Clinic

You use your voice every day…to talk, sing, yell, communicate, advise, motivate and connect with other people. Approximately 7.5 million people in the United States have trouble using their voices. Yet, you may not give your voice much attention until you experience a problem.

Disorders of the voice affect how you sound, and can result in changes in quality, pitch and loudness. Voice problems can happen after an accident, a surgical procedure, a viral infection, benign or malignant growths in the throat, or from yelling, talking too much, or singing too loud, from smoking or from stomach acids in the throat.

Have you experienced any of these symptoms?
• Is your voice become hoarse or raspy?
• Have you lost the ability to hit certain high notes when singing?
• Does your voice suddenly sound deeper?
• Does your throat often feel raw, achy, or strained?
• Is it becoming an effort to talk?
• Are you repeatedly clearing your throat?

How a voice disorder is treated depends largely on how it was caused. Treatment options can include medications, sometimes surgery, and voice therapy. Voice therapy with a speech-language pathologist who specializes in voice problems, can dramatically improve a person's voice. Just like physical therapy can help when we experience limbs, back or muscle problems, voice therapy can help when you have injured your voice, or experience any type of hoarseness.

It is important to know how to maintain a healthy voice, as well as what you can do to prevent or treat hoarseness or other voice and throat problems.

About the Speaker

Claudio F. Milstein, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a Speech Scientist and Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Voice Center in the Head & Neck Institute with clinical interests in laryngology and voice disorders. Born in Buenos Aires, he completed his studies at the Medical School of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He taught at this same University, and joined the faculty of the National Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, teaching voice courses for actors and singers, and developing an expertise in the care of the professional voice.

In the U.S., he obtained his PhD in Speech Sciences from the University of Arizona and trained at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He has been actively involved in the clinical management of voice patients for over 20 years, and is frequently invited as a lecturer at national and international meetings. Dr. Milstein has authored numerous publications primarily related to the human voice and its disorders. He has been a Staff Member of the Head and Neck Institute at the Cleveland Clinic since 2001 and holds an Affiliate Scholar appointment at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

His primary interests involve diagnosis and treatment of adults and children with laryngeal-vocal-fold voice pathology, aerodigestive-tract disorders, treatment of early glottic carcinoma, functional voice disorders and vocal-cord dysfunction. dysfunction (including difficulty with vocal range, dysphonia, effortful talking and singing, hoarseness and immobile vocal folds). He also specializes in the care of the professional voice, laryngeal physiology, laryngopharyngeal reflux, vocal cord diseases, vocal cord paralysis, and voice and swallowing problems in general.

If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Milstein or any of our other specialist in the Voice Center of the Head & Neck Institute, please call 216.445.TALK or 800.223.2273, ext 58255 or request an appointment online by visiting www.clevelandclinic.org/appointments.

This Health Chat will open on Thursday, April 10, 2014 to allow you to submit questions. We will try to answer as many questions as possible during the chat. Please create an account to attend the chat and submit your questions.