VOICE DISORDERS

Voice Disorders

Vocal Nodules, Polyps and cysts

Vocal cord lesions, also known as vocal fold lesions, are benign (noncancerous) growths that include nodules, polyps, and cysts.

Vocal cord lesions are one of the most common causes of voice problems. These growths or lesions are found within or along the covering of the vocal cord. All these can cause hoarseness of voice and may be associated with vocal cord trauma or vocal over use. Both nodules and polyps can be caused by different forms of trauma including singing (professional), screaming, and excessive talking (such as by a teacher). Muscle tension while speaking, smoking, sinusitis and allergies can also cause nodules and polyps. The size and location of the lesions affect the degree of disruption of vocal cord vibration and subsequently the severity of hoarseness or other voice problems. An ENT doctor has the ability to examine your vocal cords with a special scope. Additional tests are determined after this initial examination.

Vocal cord lesion is a collective term used to refer to a group of noncancerous, yet abnormal growths (lesions) within or along the vocal cords. Types of vocal cord lesions include:

  • Vocal cord nodules (singer’s nodes): These are also known as calluses of the vocal fold. They appear on both sides of the vocal cords, and directly face each other. These lesions often diminish or disappear when overuse of the area is stopped.
  • Vocal cord polyp: These polyps typically occur only on one side of the vocal cord and can be in a variety of shapes and sizes. Depending upon the nature of the polyp, it can cause a wide range of voice disturbances.
  • Vocal cord cyst: A cyst is a firm mass of tissue contained within a membrane (sac). The cyst can be located near the surface of the vocal cord or deeper. The size, shape, location of the cyst can affect the degree of disruption of vocal cord vibration and subsequently the severity of hoarseness or other voice problem.

Yes. Voice disorders typically fall into one of the following categories, but they may overlap:

  • Functional: The structures that produce our voice and sounds are normal but one has difficulty in using the vocal cord muscles.
  • Organic: Such disorders are usually structural (abnormal growths¬† on the larynx) or neurological (another disorder affects the nerves that control your larynx)
  • Psychogenic: Some voice disorders develop due to emotional stress or trauma. They might be the result of anxiety, depression or a mental health issue that disrupts how your brain works.

Normal aging process can affect the larynx and vocal cords. The larynx (voice box), vocal folds (cords), and voice-producing mechanism age along with the rest of the body. Age-related voice changes develop as muscle and other tissues in the larynx and vocal cords shrink, thin, and stiffen.