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How to Prevent Vocal Cord Nodules in Murray, UT & Treat with Voice Therapy & Surgery

Here at the ENT Specialists we help our patients with all sorts of different health problems. Some of the issues we help people with are commonly known while others most people have never heard of. One issue we treat is vocal nodules. If you are a Pitch Perfect fan you may remember when one of the stars of the female a cappella group announced that she had nodes. She was extremely anxious about these vocal nodules ruining her ability to sing. That may be all that you know about vocal nodules. Today ENT Specialists are going to walk you through some more information about vocal nodules.

What are Vocal Cord Nodules?

Vocal nodules are hard, rough noncancerous growths on your vocal chords. Small vocal nodules are the size of a pinhead while larger vocal nodules are the size of a pea. They are caused by straining or overusing your voice. Frequently singing, yelling, talking loudly, or talking for a long time can all cause vocal nodules to develop. Many times teachers, singers, cheerleaders, coaches, radio hosts, and salespeople will develop vocal nodules. There are some other things that can cause vocal nodules. Smoking; regular alcohol use; sinusitis; allergies; tensing your muscles when you talk; side effects from medication; and hypothyroidism are also known to cause vocal nodules.

What Causes Vocal Nodules?

They begin to form when you are not using your vocal cords correctly or they are overused. Your vocal chords are a V-shaped band of tissue that runs down the middle of your voice box. Any time that you talk, yell, or sing air from your lungs rushes up through your vocal chords and makes them vibrate open. When you overuse your vocal chords or use them incorrectly it irritates your vocal chords and causes irritated areas to harden. If you rest your voice or begin using your voice correctly they will go away. Otherwise they will continue to grow.

Signs of Vocal Cord Nodules

There are some warning signs that you may begin to notice if vocal nodules are developing. You may notice your voice becoming hoarse; raspy; scratchy; tired-sounding; breathy; cracking or breaking frequently; or lower-pitched than normal. All of these are symptoms of vocal nodules. If you sing you will likely notice that your range begins to decrease. Some singers are unable to sing altogether. You may experience shooting pain that goes from ear to ear; neck pain; or a lump stuck in your throat as well. Some people will have frequent coughing; a consistent need to clear your throat; and tiredness.

Do I Have Vocal Nodules?

If you have these symptoms and resting your voice for a few days does not make them go away you will want to make an appointment here at ENT Specialists. When you come we will ask you questions about what your symptoms are; how long you have been experiencing them; and what kind of activities you regularly participate in that might be causing the problem. We will examine your head, neck, and throat as well. We may need to use a special lighted scope to help us see your vocal chords.

Voice Therapy & Vocal Nodules Surgery

Once we have determined if you have vocal nodules or not there are a few things that we can do. We will ask you to avoid using your voice as often as you can for a few weeks and see if it helps. We may also send you to our voice center. One of our voice therapists can teach you how to use your voice safely to avoid this problem from continuing in the future. We may need to perform surgery to remove your vocal nodules. We use special instruments to remove the vocal nodules while keeping your vocal chords nice and healthy. If you think that you may have vocal nodules give us a call today so that we can start treatment before they continue to grow.

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