Over the past two weeks we’ve talked about minor issues that can affect the voice, like acid reflux and advanced age. However, just like any other body part, the vocal cords can also sustain more significant injury. Two common issues that affect the vocal folds are nodules and polyps. What exactly are these conditions?
- Nodules: Nodules are masses of tissue similar to calluses on the vocal cords. These typically result from vocal misuse or abuse over time. Although nodules are generally not dangerous, they can prevent the vocal cords from closing properly, resulting in a hoarse or breathy voice.
- Polyps: Like nodules, polyps are masses of tissue on the vocal cords which prevent them from closing properly during speech. However, polyps usually occur from a single traumatic event that injures the vocal chords as opposed to the longer-term abuse of nodules.
Since nodules and polyps are a medical issue, they are diagnosed by a doctor. The doctor may also treat the problem surgically or medically. Typically, in order to rehabilitate the voice and prevent the injury from recurring, a person will then undergo voice therapy with a speech-language pathologist. The speech therapist will provide behavior modification to help reduce vocal abuse and provide strategies for using the voice in a healthier, more efficient manner.
Check in with us again next week, when we’ll give some tips and techniques for keeping your voice healthy.
For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212)308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
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