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What Causes Vocal Cord Lesions?

Dr. Manni Hingorani 89% (19 ratings)
MS - ENT, MBBS
ENT Specialist, Delhi  •  14 years experience
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.

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