Vocal Cord Nodule Causes & Symptoms
What are vocal cord nodules?
Vocal cord nodules are calluses, or growths, that appear on the vocal folds. Usually, these appear on both sides of the vocal cords due to overuse of the voice, and generally will go away when the overuse stops.
What causes vocal cord nodules?
While the exact cause of vocal cord nodules is not known, it is generally thought to arise from a heavy or improper use of the voice, including:
- Speaking at an improper pitch
- Excessive speaking
- Speaking while sick, when voice is tender
- Screaming / yelling
What are the symptoms of vocal cord nodules?
Signs of vocal cord nodules that may warrant a visit to New York ENT, include the following:
- Difficulty beginning speech
- Vocal fatigue
- Voice that fades in and out
- Low pitch
- Breathy voice
- Difficulty singing or speaking without effort
- Different voice quality
How are vocal cord nodules diagnosed?
For an accurate diagnosis of vocal cord nodules, it is important to see an ear, nose and throat specialist with New York ENT to do a complete evaluation of your condition. Your doctor will usually discuss your medical history and history of voice problems with you. Additionally, an ENT doctor will examine your vocal cords and possibly use laryngoscopy, or a tube-like viewing instrument that passes through a patient’s mouth and allows your doctor to see the voice box. Additionally, ENT doctors may test for other conditions that contribute to vocal cord growths/lesions. These conditions include:
- Reflux disease
- Hormonal imbalance
- Medication side effects
How are vocal cord nodules treated?
Vocal cord lesions are commonly treated with:
- Voice therapy
- Voice rest
- Surgery, such as phonomicrosurgery
Treatment options will vary depending on the patient’s vocal needs as well as the degree of voice limitation resulted from the nodules. Furthermore, patients who undergo voice rest or voice therapy without seeing results may need to undergo surgery in order to improve the condition.
If you are suffering from vocal cord nodules, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of voice-related conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.