Utah Laryngology Specialists & Doctors at the Swallowing and Voice Center of Utah


Laryngology is a branch of medicine that deals with disorders, diseases and injuries to the larynx…otherwise known as your voice box. The role of a laryngologist is to treat larynx disorders, including larynx diseases that affect the voice, swallowing, or upper airway.

For the patients who come to the Swallowing and Voice Center of Utah for help with larynx, voice disorders, airway and swallowing issues, or throat, larynx cancer are diagnosed and treated by a cross-disciplined medical team dedicated to providing thoughtful, professional, unique care.

Call today: 801-512-2550

Common Larynx Diseases, Conditions Treated 


Hoarseness is a general term that describes abnormal voice changes. When hoarse, the voice may sound breathy, raspy, strained, or there may be changes in volume (loudness) or pitch (how high or low the voice is). 

Acute Laryngitis: There are many causes of hoarseness. Fortunately, most are not serious and tend to go away in a short period of time. The most common cause is acute laryngitis, which usually occurs due to swelling from a common cold, upper respiratory tract viral infection, or irritation caused by excessive voice use such as screaming at a sporting event or rock concert.

Vocal Nodules: More prolonged hoarseness is usually due to using your voice either too much, too loudly, or improperly over extended periods of time. 

Gastroesophageal Reflux: A common cause of hoarseness is gastro-esophageal reflux, when stomach acid comes up the swallowing tube (esophagus) and irritates the vocal cords. 

Smoking: Smoking is another cause of hoarseness. Since smoking is the major cause of throat cancer, if smokers are hoarse, they should see an otolaryngologist.

Other Causes: Many unusual causes for hoarseness include allergies, thyroid problems, neurological disorders, trauma to the voice box, and occasionally, the normal menstrual cycle.

Voice Issues

Voice: Hoarseness, problems related to aging, difficulty starting or maintaining your voice, extra effort when speaking or singing, difficulty reaching parts of the pitch range, elevated or inappropriate pitch, singing voice performance issues, creaky voice, lack of projection or volume, pain or discomfort when using the voice, and voice loss.

Cough & Related Issues: Chronic laryngitis or persistent throat irritation, excessive throat clearing or coughing, and coughing that has not responded to other medical treatments.

Swallowing Issues

Swallowing: Swallowing after surgical changes associated with Head & Neck Cancer, difficulty swallowing after stroke or head injury, reduced swallowing ability related to aging, frequent pneumonia, issues associated with excessive muscle tension, and difficulty swallowing pills.

Zenker’s Diverticulum: Swallowing difficulties can occur at any age, but are most common among the elderly population due to the aging process and a natural weakening of the muscles of the esophagus which must propel the food toward the stomach. One cause of dysphagia in older patients is a Zenker’s diverticulum.

A Zenker’s diverticulum is a pouch that forms at the end of the throat and the beginning of the esophagus (the swallowing tube). Over a lifetime of swallowing, when there is excessive pressure within the lower portion of the pharynx (the back wall of the throat), the weakest portion of the pharyngeal wall balloons out. Over time, a diverticulum forms which can gradually increase in size and become several centimeters in diameter. Thus, this is a condition almost always seen in the elderly (patients over 60).

Meet our Board-Certified and Fellowship Trained Laryngologist

Dr. Stephen Larson

Dr. Stephen Larson

Your Health Starts Here

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