Vocal Cords Nodules and Polyps – an Overview

Vocal Cords Nodules and Polyps – an Overview

Vocal Cords Nodules and Polyps - an Overview

By Dr Anil Arora , Ear-Nose-Throat (ENT)

Vocal nodules are noncancerous growths which occur on the vocal cords and it is most commonly caused by vocal abuse. Polyps appear as a blister-like lesion, stalk-like growth, bump or swelling on at least one but sometimes even both the vocal cords. Polyps also tend to be bigger in size than nodules. Doctors say that the way to differentiate between a polyp and a nodule is that a nodule is similar to a callous and a polyp is similar to a blister. Here is everything you need to know about vocal nodules and polyps…

Causes-

The cause of both vocal cord polyps and nodules are vocal abuse. Here are all the forms of vocal abuse…

1. Yelling

2. Trauma to the vocal cords

3. Hypothyroidism

4. Smoking cigarettes excessively

5. Allergies

6. Alcohol and caffeine

Symptoms-

1. Strong pain from one ear to the other

2. Hoarse, harsh voice

3. Pain in the neck

4. Feeling you have a ‘lump in the throat’

5. Voice as well as body tiredness

Diagnosis-

There are three main exams which occur if you go to an otolaryngologist or speech-language pathologist with any complain of vocal cord nodules and/or polyps. They are:

1. A physical examination

2. Voice evaluation

3. Neurological exam

Treatment-

1. Behavioral Techniques:

There are various voice therapies conducted by a speech language therapist which can help stop your voice from sounding harsh.

2. Medications to Treat Underlying Condition:

This is when allergies, thyroid problems or other causes of polyps and nodules are addressed.

3. Surgery:

This is a last resort which is even rarer for children.