Listen to Your Voice Video

In this medical video learn how certain disorders including acid reflux may soon be diagnosed by examining vocal cords with small video cameras.
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Jennifer Matthews: Most of us take our voices for granted. But taking a good long listen to your voice could give you some clues to serious conditions like acid reflux disease or nerve damage. Michael Holtel: Other problems have to do with mass lesions like cancers and stuff on the vocal cord. This mirror will look down at your vocal cord. Jennifer Matthews: Dr. Michael Holtel, from Tripler Army Medical Center is using this new high-tech camera that records how vocal cords move at 2,000 frames per second. Michael Holtel: You'll never see those fine waves just by examining somebody with a standard scope or standard camera. Jennifer Matthews: But that's not where the research stops. Yuling Yan: Sometimes patients come to complain about voice problems, and it is difficult for the clinician to decide if they need any treatment. Jennifer Matthews: So biomedical engineer Yuling Yan from the University of Hawaii has developed this micro-plot system to interpret those high-speed images. Here's a plot of a cyst that could indicate cancer. Here it is after treatment. This is a plot of a Parkinson's voice. This is a normal one. Michael Holtel: By being more precise in our diagnosis, we can better treat the patient, and that's really, I think, what we're hoping for with this. = Jennifer Matthews: Doctors say sounds to listen for to know if you're in need of a vocal check-up include hoarseness, loss of vocal range, and loss of volume. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.

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