Your vocal cords, sometimes referred to ask vocal folds, are two flexible bands that are located at the entrance of the windpipe. Whether you’re whispering or screaming, you need to use your voice.
Vocal cord lesions — an area that is broken or infected — are one of the most common causes of voice problems. There are three types of vocal cord lesions: nodules, polyps, and cysts.
Vocal cord nodules, also called Singer’s Nodes or Screamer’s Nodes, appear on both sides of the vocal cords. Similar to a callus, these types of lesions often disappear when you stop using your voice too much or misusing it.
A vocal cord polyp usually forms on only one side of the vocal cord in various shapes and sizes. A polyp is an extra piece of tissue that grows inside your body and are typically noncancerous.
A vocal cord cyst is a firm mass of tissue that is contained within a sac or membrane.
Signs and Symptoms
The first sign of a vocal cord lesion is a change in the quality of your voice or persistent hoarseness. The symptoms vary depending on the size and nature of the nodule, polyp, or cyst.
Common symptoms include:
· Vocal fatigue
· Delayed voice initiation
· Low pitch
· Voice breaks at the beginning of sentences
· Unreliable voice
· Low, gravelly voice
· Voice is “hard to find”
· Frequent throat clearing
· Hoarse and rough voice quality
· Inability to sing in high, soft voice
· Airy or breathy voice
· Extra force needed for voice
Vocal cord treatment can include nonsurgical options such as voice rest, voice therapy, and singing voice therapy. If surgery is needed, the most common surgical treatment is phonomicrosurgery. This is usually performed through a rigid tube called a laryngoscope that is inserted through the mouth. This helps the surgeon see the vocal cords clearly to make a diagnosis. This procedure can also be used to remove any diseased tissue or lesions with the help of magnification.
At Ohio Head and Neck Surgeons, we understand your concerns when seeking diagnosis and treatment options for Ear, Nose, and Throat injuries and diseases. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our quality ENT specialists. For more information on scheduling click here.
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