These benign problems on the vocal cords are to vocal cords what callouses and blisters are to your feet. Vocal cord polyps are like fluid-filled blisters. If you don’t irritate them and let them heal, they will resolve spontaneously and leave no mark of their presence. However, if you continue to walk on a blister, it will become a thickened, rough spot or callous. Vocal cord nodules are like callouses. While polyps disappear like blisters, nodules like callouses may not go away with out surgery.
Vocal cord polyps and nodules can cause hoarseness, decreased pitch range, scratchiness, breathiness, decreased volume, pain that stretches from ear to ear, and neck pain. Occasionally, they’re felt as “lumps in the throat.”
The first line of treatment for vocal cord polyps is usually aimed at eliminating the source of the inciting factors. Dr. Yagoda will address any medical conditions and discuss techniques to eliminate vocal misuse or abuse. Reducing inflammation through voice rest, homeopathic remedies and anti-inflammatory pills, sprays or injections are also considered. For patient with nodules, additional voice therapy from a speech-language pathologist may be necessary. Lastly, surgical removal with or without a laser might be necessary.