Vocal nodules are growths that form on the vocal folds. These growths usually make it difficult to speak, as the natural movement of your vocal folds is disrupted by these nodules.
What Causes Vocal Nodules?
Typically, vocal nodules are caused by overuse of the voice. Vocal nodules are especially common in singers, as they regularly strain their vocal cords during performances.
Other professions or activities related to heavy voice usage can also cause vocal nodules to form. In addition to singers, coaches and cheerleaders will often develop vocal nodules due to how often they use their voice above a normal speaking range.
Whenever a person yells or screams, their vocal folds are violently slapped together again and again. This is incredibly harmful to your vocal folds, and it is what causes the tissue to swell and then eventually harden into a vocal nodule.
There are also a few other potential contributors to the formation of vocal nodules that do not involve any use of the voice at all. These contributors include:
- Drinking caffeine or alcohol
- A disorder of the thyroid
Vocal Nodule Symptoms
A person will begin to notice abnormalities of their voice as vocal nodules begin to form, such as:
- A rough or scratchy voice
- Feeling that there is something stuck in the throat
- Difficulty in controlling the pitch of your voice
- Shooting pain from one ear to another
- Neck pain
- Fatigue of the voice and body
Treatment near Pooler, GA
If the individual rests their voice properly at the onset of their swollen vocal folds, the area is usually able to heal on its own. If the person does not adequately rest their voice, then vocal nodules will likely develop. It is advised to see a DOCTOR if your vocal nodule symptoms last for more than 2-3 weeks.
Over time, these nodules begin to harden, just like a callous. Once they have hardened, the vocal nodules will most often need to be removed during a surgical procedure.
In the event that the nodules are caused by smoking, drinking, allergies, reflux, or a thyroid disorder, then the individual will be advised to treat those existing conditions first in order to improve the health of their vocal folds. After all, it will do little good to treat the symptom instead of treating the true cause of the patient’s vocal nodules.
See a Local Otolaryngologist
If you suspect that you may have vocal nodules for any variety of reasons, please contact the ENT specialists of Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat today to explore the potential causes to your vocal problems. To schedule an appointment, please call (912) 355-2335.