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Vocal Cords Tips

What Causes Vocal Cord Lesions?

Dr. Manni Hingorani 93% (35 ratings)
MS - ENT, MBBS
ENT Specialist, Delhi
What Causes Vocal Cord Lesions?

When the vocal cords suffer from the accumulation of non-cancerous and abnormal growth, these are known as vocal cord lesions. These lesions usually cause a variety of voice and speech related problems. These are also known as singer’s nodules and nodes, which may be caused by pressure, stress and stretching of the vocal cords. Women between the age of 20 to 50 are more prone to this condition. Here is everything you need to know about the types, causes and treatment of these lesions.

Types: There are three kinds of vocal cord lesions, that is nodules, polyps and cysts. A vocal cord polyps may be caused on one side of the vocal cords and may also lead to many disturbances in one’s voice. Another type of vocal cord lesions includes a mass of tissue that may manifest in the sac or membranes around the vocal cord. This cyst can be on the surface of the vocal cord or in the ligaments of the vocal cord. This may require surgical removal as well as voice therapy thereafter. Nodules are the third type of lesion that may form in the vocal folds. These are basically calluses that may disappear once the pressure and overuse of the vocal cords diminish.

Causes: These lesions are usually benign or non-cancerous growths that may be caused due to a variety of reasons. Screaming and overuse of vocal cords are few of the most common reasons for the eruption of such lesions. The heavy use of one’s voice can cause quite a bit of trauma to the vocal cords and may lead to problems including lesions and disturbances in one’s voice. Conditions like reflux and allergic reactions may also cause vocal cord lesions as a side effect.

Symptoms: From hoarseness to pain, there are a number of symptoms caused by this condition. A low pitch and difficulty while speaking are also some of the common symptoms of this condition. Patients suffering from the growth of such lesions will also find themselves making an effort in order to speak normally and to be heard. Constant throat clearing may be required as well.

Treatment: Besides giving your voice a rest and gargling warm saline water with salt, one can also have the condition checked by the doctor so as to ascertain whether or not it is a serious lesion that may require surgical removal and voice therapy. The doctor will usually prescribe medicines in order to deal with any underlying conditions that may have caused the lesions, including allergic reactions, reflux, sinusitis and other such ailments. One will also have to stop smoking so that there is less chemical pressure on the vocal cord. Finally, one will have to go through voice therapy for more serious lesions. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ent Specialist.

2642 people found this helpful

Vocal Nodules,Polyps,Cysts And Hoarseness of voice!

Dr. Pradeep Patidar 89% (94 ratings)
MS otorhinolaryngology and head and neck surgery
ENT Specialist, Jaipur
Vocal Nodules,Polyps,Cysts And Hoarseness of voice!

Vocal cord nodules, polyps & cysts

Vocal cord nodules, polyps, and cysts are benign (non-cancerous) growths that occur along the free edges or just below the surface membrane of the vocal cord (s). Because they typically distort the normally straight contour of the vocal cords, they impair how well the vocal cords close during speaking and/or singing. A patient with one of these lesions may have a gap in between the vocal cords during certain phases of vibration, when there should ideally be none. This results in a leaking vocal valve, which is why patients with nodules, polyps or cysts often suffer from vocal fatigue. Singers, in particular, may find that they have difficulty reaching their high notes, especially when singing softly.

It is also common for nodules, polyps and cysts to cause a raspy voice. In addition to impacting vocal cord closure, these lesions can stiffen the vocal cord (s). Vocal cords that are not soft cannot vibrate optimally, and this can lead to a raspy, strained or inconsistent sound.

Nodules - in general, vocal cord nodules are comprised of firm scar tissue (like a callous) and occur in pairs on opposing sections of each of the vocal cords. 

Polyps - vocal cord polyps tend to be softer, more gelatinous structures than nodules and they commonly protrude more from the free edge. They typically exist only along one vocal cord, although a reactive nodule may form at its contact point with the opposite vocal cord. This results from collision trauma of the polyp against the other vocal cord during sound production. Polyps can also exist along both vocal cords (bilaterally), and sometimes occur in the context of a leaking blood vessel (hemorrhage) within the vocal cord, resulting in a hemorrhagic polyp.

Cysts - vocal cord cysts are spherical or ovoid structures that tend to be located slightly deeper within the vocal cord than nodules or polyps. They can be solid (keratin cyst) or filled with fluid (mucus retention cyst). Some patients may be born with a vocal cord cyst (s) (congenital cyst), but they are more commonly acquired.

Treatment

Vocal cord nodules, and often vocal cord polyps, tend to occur in individuals with significant vocal demands (singers, teachers, etc.) but can also occur in patients who are vocal over-doers. It is optimal for patients with these types of lesions to work with a voice pathologist, a speech pathologist skilled in treating voice disorders, to assess whether voice use patterns are contributing to the development of the problem. Voice center hospital provides a collaborative and multidisciplinary working environment between the patient, the laryngologist and the voice pathologist.

For many patients, minimally invasive laryngeal surgery can be an effective and safe treatment for these lesions. Optimal voice outcomes are most reliably achieved by a laryngologist/laryngeal surgeon who has specialized equipment, training and experience operating on the delicate vocal cords.

1 person found this helpful

Vocal Cord Lesions - Know Its Types And Causes!

Dr. Ajay Singhal 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), DNB (ENT)
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Vocal Cord Lesions - Know Its Types And Causes!

Vocal cord lesions can be described as non-cancerous growths on the vocal cords. They are also known as vocal fold lesions. These lesions can make the patient’s voice sound hoarse and lead to a loss of vocal range. Patients may also feel the need to take frequent breaks while using their vocal cords. In addition, they may experience bouts of coughing and a shooting pain that goes from one ear to the other. Vocal cord lesions can be categorized under 4 heads and can affect both men and women.

Vocal Cord Polyps
These are the most common types of vocal cord lesions. They can occur on one or both vocal cords. These lesions appear reddish in colour and may resemble blisters. Vocal cord polyps are typically caused by overusing the vocal cords. When the vocal cords hit each other repeatedly, they can become inflame and irritated and lead to vocal cord polyps. A single traumatic event such as shouting for a long time can also cause vocal cord polyps. Some types of polyps such as polypoid corditis are also caused exclusively by smoking.

Vocal Cord Nodules
Vocal cord nodules can be described as small callus-like growths on the vocal cords. These are typically caused by repeated irritation of the vocal cords because of overusing them. Vocal cord nodules are usually located on both vocal cords. If left untreated, these nodules can stiffen and affect the patient’s voice.

Vocal Cord Cysts
Cysts refer to fluid or mucus filled sacs. They may also have a semi-solid core. These are the least common of all vocal cord lesions. Cysts usually result out of an irritation on the vocal cords. This obstructs the glandular ducts and leads to a buildup of mucus around the vocal cords. As the mucus gets clogged and cannot be removed, a cyst develops. Cysts can have a significant effect on the patient’s voice.

Vocal Cord Scars
Whenever injured, the body tries to heal itself. In repairing an injury to one of the vocal cords, scar tissue may form. This is less pliable as compared to normal tissue and affects the vibrations created. Thus, the person may experience a change in his or her voice. Unlike other forms of local cord lesions, scar tissue cannot be treated with medication or therapy. In cases where it seriously affects a person’s voice, surgery may be considered to remove the scar tissue.

3851 people found this helpful

Healthy Voice / Vocal Hygiene

Dr. Swati Mahendru 88% (79 ratings)
Masters
Speech Therapist, Delhi
Healthy Voice / Vocal Hygiene

1. Increase fluid intake 4-8 ounces of water per day.
2. Avoid excessive throat clearing - try sipping water instead.
3. Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue can cause voice to sound hoarse.
4. Use plenty of breath support.
5. Do not speak in sentences that are too long. This causes you to vocalize with inadequate breath support at the end of your air stream.

6. Minimize caffeine, alcohol, menthol throat lozenges and dairy intake. These can dry out the vocal cords and/ or create thick mucous.
7. Avoid smoking
8. Avoid raising your voice above others in a loud environment, it can cause straining and vocal abuse. 


 

3 people found this helpful

Vocal Cord Lesions - Causes + Treatment

Dr. Yashvant Chhatbar 90% (3148 ratings)
MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Gandhinagar
Vocal Cord Lesions - Causes + Treatment

When the vocal cords suffer from the accumulation of non-cancerous and abnormal growth, these are known as vocal cord lesions. These lesions usually cause a variety of voice and speech related problems. These are also known as singer’s nodules and nodes, which may be caused by pressure, stress and stretching of the vocal cords. Women between the age of 20 to 50 are more prone to this condition. Here is everything you need to know about the types, causes and treatment of these lesions.

Types: There are three kinds of vocal cord lesions, that is nodules, polyps and cysts. A vocal cord polyps may be caused on one side of the vocal cords and may also lead to many disturbances in one’s voice. Another type of vocal cord lesions includes a mass of tissue that may manifest in the sac or membranes around the vocal cord. This cyst can be on the surface of the vocal cord or in the ligaments of the vocal cord. This may require surgical removal as well as voice therapy thereafter. Nodules are the third type of lesion that may form in the vocal folds. These are basically calluses that may disappear once the pressure and overuse of the vocal cords diminish.

Causes: These lesions are usually benign or non-cancerous growths that may be caused due to a variety of reasons. Screaming and overuse of vocal cords are few of the most common reasons for the eruption of such lesions. The heavy use of one’s voice can cause quite a bit of trauma to the vocal cords and may lead to problems including lesions and disturbances in one’s voice. Conditions like reflux and allergic reactions may also cause vocal cord lesions as a side effect.

Symptoms: From hoarseness to pain, there are a number of symptoms caused by this condition. A low pitch and difficulty while speaking are also some of the common symptoms of this condition. Patients suffering from the growth of such lesions will also find themselves making an effort in order to speak normally and to be heard. Constant throat clearing may be required as well.

Treatment: Besides giving your voice a rest and gargling warm saline water with salt, one can also have the condition checked by the doctor so as to ascertain whether or not it is a serious lesion that may require surgical removal and voice therapy. The doctor will usually prescribe medicines in order to deal with any underlying conditions that may have caused the lesions, including allergic reactions, reflux, sinusitis and other such ailments. One will also have to  stop smoking so that there is less chemical pressure on the vocal cord. Finally, one will have to go through voice therapy for more serious lesions. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

2551 people found this helpful

Vocal Hygiene Program

Dr. Hari Mathi 87% (47 ratings)
Bachelor of Audiology & Speech Language Pathology (B.A.S.L.P)
Speech Therapist, Chennai
Vocal Hygiene Program
1. Speak in your normal voice with appropriate loudness
2. Limit vocal use when ill.
3. Take frequent breaks during voice use for extended periods.
4. Maintain good posture and breathe through your nose while not speaking.
5. Do not smoke & avoid alcohol intake.
6. Do not sing or mimic natural sounds or animal cries to train your voice
9 people found this helpful

Voice Disorders - Signs You Are Suffering From It!

Mr. Murli Singh 92% (221 ratings)
D.H.L.S, B.A.S.L.P, M.A, B.Ed .SE . ( H.I )
Speech Therapist, Delhi
Voice Disorders - Signs You Are Suffering From It!

Voice results from the air that comes out of the lungs and passes through the vocal cords. The latter is also known as the voice box. Speech results from the vibration of the chords. Voice disorder might occur for various reasons such as tone, pitch, and volume of the if the voice. The roots of all problems boil down to the malfunctioning of the cords.

Voice disorder examples:

  1. LaryngitisLaryngitis results from the swelling of the vocal cords. It can lead to a temporary halt of voice or a voice with hoarseness. It often occurs due to a viral attack in the respiratory tract. It can last from a few days to a few weeks. The treatment suggested for cases like these include resting the voice and intake of a lot of fluids. Some common causes that are responsible for laryngitis are GERD, chronic cough, and asthma.
  2. Vocal cord paralysisParalysis of the vocal cord can be temporary or permanent. The possible cause of this scenario can be from viral infection, cancer, surgical injury to the nerve etc. In the case of a paralysis of the vocal cord, a person might find difficulty in breathing, can result in weak voice etc. While this condition improves for many people with voice therapy and surgery, for some they permanently lose their ability to speak.
  3. Spasmodic dysphonia: The vocal cord spasm due to a problem with the nerve. This condition can lead to a quivery, hoarse, groaning or jerky voice. In this condition, a person might find it easy to speak at times and have difficulty in speaking later. Botulinum toxin and speech therapy help to improve this condition.

Possible causes of voice disorders:

  1. Growth: Extra tissue formation on the vocal cords might stop the vocal cords to work properly leading to voice disorders. The growth can be treated with injection, medicine or surgery.
  2. Swelling and inflammation: Exposure to chemicals, vocal and alcohol abuse, surgery-related complications can lead to inflammation or swelling of the vocal cords resulting in voice-related problems.
  3. Hormone: Disorder of the male, female and thyroid hormone can lead to voice related disorders affecting speech.

Symptoms of voice disorders:

  1. The harshness of the voice
  2. Voice is breathy, weak and whispery
  3. The voice sounds like choppy or strained
  4. A quivering sound while speaking
  5. The voice sounds harsh or rough while speaking

Diagnosis of Voice related disorders:
Voice related disorders can be detected through a process known as Laryngoscopy. This helps a doctor to view the throat region and find out the possible culprit that may be causing the problem. Some other popular methods are stroboscopy, EMG and imaging tests such as MRI and X-Ray of the throat. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a speech-therapist.

3475 people found this helpful

Hoarse Voice - What Are Its Causes And Treatment Options?

Dr. Suven Kalra 85% (26 ratings)
MBBS, MS - ENT, Fellowship In Otology
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Hoarse Voice - What Are Its Causes And Treatment Options?

Any kind of abnormal change in the voice of a person is termed as hoarseness. It is a harsh, strained or raspy voice coupled with a change in the pitch and volume. Hoarseness is often caused by a variety of conditions such as allergies, GERD, smoking and thyroid. It has been noted that that hoarseness is not a medical condition but a symptom of a disease. For you to get a clearer picture of the condition, here are some of the causes and possible treatment measures for the condition. 

Causes of Hoarse Voice 
The conditions which result in hoarse voice as one of their symptoms include: 

  1. Laryngitis: This is one of the most common conditions that cause hoarseness. In this condition, the vocal cords become inflamed which is mostly due to a viral infection. This problem is worsened due to other problems like reflux of acid from stomach into the throat and environmental pollution. Strep throat and epiglottitis are specific types of Laryngitis caused by a particular virus or affliction of a particular site in the voice box. 
  2. Vocal nodules: In this condition small nodules develop on the Vocal cords. Also known as Singer’s nodules, these are common in professional singers, teachers and other professionals who overuse their voice. 
  3. Vocal Polyps: These are small masses that may develop on the vocal cords and prevent them from vibrating normally resulting in a hoarse voice. They may be a result of repeated episodes of laryngitis or acid reflux
  4. Myasthenia Gravis: In this condition, the muscles become weak. This is basically a neuromuscular disorder and hoarseness in voice is one of its symptoms. 
  5. Vocal cord paralysis: One of the two vocal cords may stop moving and lose its function. This can be due to a variety of conditions like thyroid gland swelling, tuberculosis or tumors
  6. Throat Cancer: Hoarseness of voice is one of the earliest signs of cancer of the voice box. If caught early this type of cancer can be treated. Smokers beware! 

Treatment of Hoarse Voice 
Some of the treatment measures for hoarse voice are: 

  1. Medication – General medication to reduce swelling of the vocal cords, medicines to reduce reflux of acid from stomach into the throat, medicines to reduce pain and strain in the voice box are generally recommend. 
  2. Surgery Certain conditions like Vocal polyps, nodules need to be removed surgically. Micro-laryngeal surgery is used for such type of lesions. Using a microscope with laser and without any external cuts or stitches these problems can be tacled easily. 
  3. Phonosurgery This is a highly specialized type of surgery using which a surgeon can make your voice more like you want it. The pitch of voice can be altered surgically, Meaning that your voice can be made more masculine, more feminine, deeper or more shrill according to your preference. 
  4. Cancer treatment – Depending upon the stage of throat cancer the treatment varies and may include surgery or radiotherapy or both. 
  5. Voice rest and Vocal hygiene – Along with the primary treatment depending upon the exact cause of hoarseness, measures like voice rest and speech exercises to improve voice may be advised by your doctor. The right cause and the right treatment for your hoarse voice can only be determined by a doctor. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4103 people found this helpful

Down With Laryngitis

Dr. Prabha Acharya 88% (106 ratings)
PGDM In Cosmetology, Trichology & Weight Managmen, MD, BHMS
Homeopath, Mumbai
Down With Laryngitis

Laryngitis is a condition where your voice box or vocal cords become inflamed or swollen. Laryngitis occurs when your voice box or vocal cords become inflamed from overuse, irritation, or infection.

Laryngitis can be acute , lasting less than three weeks. Or it can be chronic, lasting more than three weeks.

Causes:         

  • viral infections.        
  • straining your vocal cords by talking or yelling.      
  • bacterial infections.        
  • drinking too much alcohol.              
  • frequent sinus infections.         
  • being around smokers.        
  • overusing your voice, etc.

Symptoms:

  • weakened voice.      
  • hoarseness.      
  • loss of voice.
  • dry throat.
  • constant tickling or minor throat irritation, etc.

Tips to deal with laryngitis:

  • Adequate and sufficient rest to voice is advised. Use the voice as little as possible.
  • Use a humidifier or inhale steam to alleviate dryness.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Gargle with salt and water 2 -3 times a day.
  • Eat foods that are easy to swallow.
  • Protect your immune system hence eat food rich in vitamins C like cirrus fruits, etc.
  • Exercise daily. Try yoga.
  • Do not whisper or try to strain your voice as it can irritate the inflamed larynx and worsen the pain.
  • Reduce intake of Caffeine, Spicy food and other beverages as it can aggravate acid reflux which is also a cause for Laryngitis.
  • Avoid smoking and being around people who smoke.
  • Wash your hands regularly to avoid catching colds and upper respiratory infections.
  • Do not eat cold things like ice creams,etc.
  • Do not eat processed, fried, salty and sugary food.
  • Avoid foods that cause indigestion and heartburn.
  • Take help of doctor if complaints persist in order to avoid complications.
  • Avoid alcohol intake.
1 person found this helpful

How Hoarseness Can be Treated

MBBS, MS-ENT, DNB (ENT) -, DOHNS(LONDON) -
ENT Specialist, Gurgaon
How Hoarseness Can be Treated

Hoarseness in the simplest sense means, 'hoarse voice'. It may be defined as an abnormal voice change. It is experienced in the form of strained, rough, thick, harsh and grating voice. Variations can be felt even in the loudness and pitch of the voice.

Hoarseness is a temporary infection associated with the larynx, which is also known as the voice box in animals as well as humans. Vocal cords are present inside the voice box. Depending on the vibration of the vocal cord, different sounds are produced.

What are the general causes of hoarseness?

Hoarseness may be caused by common cold, viral infection, cough, irritation due to screaming, smoking, allergy, thyroid problem, acute laryngitis and benign tumor. In adults, the stomach asset comes up to the throat causing hoarseness. Heartburn can also be one of the causes.

When hoarseness arises due to common cold and cough, it will last for 2 to 3 days and will subside using cough suppressant and home remedies like salt water gargling, drinking hot milk with turmeric and pepper powder. As cough or cold suppress, hoarseness will also reduce.

When to see an Otolaryngologist (ENT specialist)?

Serious infections in ear nose and throat are treated by an otolaryngologist. It is very essential to consult this specialist if hoarseness lasts for more than 2 to 3 weeks; pain in ENT is not due to cold or flu, coughing up blood, lump in the neck.

Evaluation: The medical specialist starts his diagnosis by physically examining the vocal cord. Flexible light weight fiber optic tube scope is also used to visually examine the larynx area. Videotaping, acoustic analysis is also done to study voice irregularities, airflow to guide treatment.

How can hoarseness be treated?

The mode of treatments depends on underlying the cause of the problem. The patient may be advised:

  1. In most cases, hoarseness can be treated just by resting your throat or modifying the use of your voice.
  2. To avoid smoking or passive smoking
  3. Referred to a speech therapist to improve sound of voice.
  4. In case of benign tumor the nodule or polyp is removed by surgery.

How can you prevent hoarseness?

We've all heard the phrase, 'prevention is better than cure'. Alas, it is. Preventing hoarse voice and throat is a much better option than treating it. Here are some tips on how to prevent hoarseness:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid overconsumption of caffeine and alcohol.
  • Consume plenty of water
  • Avoid eating spicy food.
  • Avoid speaking loudly for long intervals of time.
3195 people found this helpful
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