Glossary Archives

Note: For a more complete reference than this glossary, see our newer standalone educational website, Bastian Medical Media for Laryngology.

Zenker’s diverticulum (ZD)

An outpouching or in effect a hernia of the swallowing passage just above a non-relaxing or (UES). In essence, the forces of swallowing are delivered against a somewhat unyielding muscle, and this causes the wall of the swallowing passage just above the UES to balloon outward. Though unknown to many, the ZD is only the… Read more »


An anesthetic medication used for topical or for local (infiltrational) anesthesia. See also .

Working diagnosis

A term used to refer to the leading contender in a list of two or more potential diagnoses. Infrequently, at the conclusion of the initial consultation, we have two fairly strong diagnostic possibilities, and begin with treatment for one of them, now termed the working diagnosis, as the next step in finalizing a diagnosis. If… Read more »

Wegener’s Granulomatosis

A rare inflammatory disease of small arteries and veins (vacuities) that classically involves vessels supplying the tissues of the lungs, nasal passages (sinuses), and kidneys. At BVI, we see a large population of persons with presumed Wegener’s granulomatosis causing subglottic and tracheal .

Voice therapy

As delivered by a speech pathologist, this is a comprehensive process that includes teaching the patient concerning the diagnosis; review of occupational and other life demands and problems posed by a voice deficit; and establishing and implementing a comprehensive plan for remediation. A significant component of voice therapy may include work on .

Voice production

Refers to the act of making voice, and the details of the use of breathing (power supply), larynx (sound source), and resonators (mouth and throat) to create a specific voice quality. Using different strategies of voice production, the same person may bring forth various voices: one may be clear and normal-sounding; another may be harsh… Read more »

Voice fatigue syndrome

A clinical scenario that, when seen, almost always accompanies the . Typically such individuals report that with any significant amount of voice use, the voice seems effortful and tight; they may also complain of paralaryngeal discomfort. Most often seen in vocal under doers whose job requirements for voice use have increased due to a promotion… Read more »

Voice evaluation

Can refer to the second part of the as performed by the , or to an initial assessment of the and as carried out by the . Should be distinguished from other things that are sometimes confused with laryngeal examination and also from measures.

Voice building*

The process of adding strength to the voice by utilizing a variety of tasks that tax its strength capabilities. The idea is that over time the larynx will rise to the challenge and adapt to increased demands, much as might happen to the arms as a result of a weight-lifting regimen. Sometimes the voice building… Read more »