According to a new literature review in the journal Autoimmune Diseases, the prevalence of laryngeal symptoms of RA has risen from up to 31% of RA patients in 1960 (Lawry, 1984) to 75% by the end of the 20th century (Hamdan, 2013). At least a portion of this significant increase is likely due to increased awareness and better clinical diagnosis.
Symptoms of larynx involvement caused by RA include odynophagia (painful swallowing), foreign body sensation, dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), sore throat, lump sensation in the throat, change in voice quality (e.g. hoarseness, breathiness, vocal fatigue), referred otalgia (earache), and respiratory symptoms (e.g. shortness of breath, decreased exercise tolerance, stridor, dyspnea, respiratory distress). In rare cases, patients with RA may also present with symptoms of croup. Patients may also be asymptomatic.
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Hoarseness and Shortness of Breath: Is Your RA the Cause?