The benign growths that may occur in different sizes in the vocal cords due to the improper, very intense or poor use of the sound are called the vocal cord nodule. Vocal cord nodules, which may lead to different symptoms such as voice change, vocal cracking, hoarseness, coughing, the need to constantly clean the throat, ear pain, neck pain, and decreased pitch, usually occur in people who have to use their voice professionally.
How Do Vocal Cord Nodules Occur?
The air coming from the lungs vibrates our vocal cords when we speak, shout or sing. If the sound is used improperly, too much or poorly, our vocal cords may become irritated. Hard but benign, callus-like vocal nodules occur in our vocal cords that are damaged over time.
The vocal nodules that occur in the vocal cords and grow when not treated prevent them from vibrating normally, causing the pitch and tone to change. Coaches, lawyers, teachers, singers, and artisans generally suffer from vocal cord nodules.
The occurrence of the vocal cord nodules does not only occur in people who use their voice too much or improperly; factors such as smoking, alcohol, sinusitis, allergy, side effects of the drugs used and thyroid deficiency may also trigger nodule formation.
What are the Symptoms of Vocal Cord Nodule?
The vocal cord nodules often lead to voice related changes. Symptoms such as vocal cracking, change in pitch, hoarseness, vocal thickening, low vocal ranges may be experienced simultaneously with complaints such as coughing, need to clean the throat and fatigue.
How is Vocal Cord Nodule Treated?
Patients who notice changes in their voice for two or three weeks should seek medical support. During the planning process of the vocal cord nodule treatment, the person’s profession and priorities are evaluated. The vocal cord nodule can be treated by applying combined therapies such as resting the voice, working with the vocal therapist, improving the diseases such as reflux, allergy, thyroid diseases and sinusitis that cause the vocal cord nodule.
If the vocal cord nodules do not disappear despite the traditional treatments applied, and the vocal cord nodule is hard and large, the nodules in the vocal cords should be removed without damaging the surrounding tissues through phonomicrosurgery.
After the vocal cord nodule surgery, which is completed in about 15 minutes under general anesthesia, patients are discharged on the same day and can return to their normal lives one day later. After the operation, it is necessary to comply with the speech ban for 3 – 5 days and to talk as little as possible in the following 1-month period. In addition to the vocal cord nodule, if the patient has vocal cord polyps, surgery becomes inevitable. Polyps filled with fluid cannot be removed with non-surgical treatments.