This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
Complete or partial toes of voice; in slight cases, only hoarseness or deep monotone voice.
This affection appears in two forms, as the result of functional disease or of some organic affection. The first form is more frequent in women, with whom it is a symptom which frequently accompanies uterine disease. The patient frequently speaks only in a whisper for a long time, then entirely recovers the voice again. When long continued, it becomes nearly as serious as the graver form of the disease, in which there is some structural derangement This form is most frequently caused by disease of the larynx, as acute or chronic laryngitis, ulceration of the larynx, pressure upon the nerves which control the part by tumors of some sort, and disease of the brain.
The diagnosis of this affection is made conclusive by occular examination of the larynx by means of a laryngoscope, the use of which is illustrated in Fig. 296. By means of this instrument the skilled operator can inspect the vocal cords, and thus discover whether or not there is a lack of proper motion in the act of breathing or attempting to speak.
For the functional form of the disease, electricity is a valuable local means of treatment. In applying this agent, one pole should be applied over the upper part of the sternum, and the other upon that part of the larynx familiarly known as "Adam's Apple." In some cases a cure has been effected by a single application of electricity, and the patient generally experiences some benefit from the treatment almost immediately.
Alternate hot and cold applications, together with rubbing of the throat with cold water, are also useful Great attention should be given to the general health and the removal of the local disease, of which this affection is in these cases generally a symptom. In the treatment of the more severe form of the disease, special attention must be given to the particular cause of the disease, by the removal of which the patient will show a marked improvement, although some cases of this affection are of course incurable, it being in these cases the result of causes which cannot be removed.