Have you been experiencing hoarseness or raspiness in your voice for more than two weeks? If you are, it’s time to book an appointment with a specialist. It could be a case of vocal cord injury.
What are vocal cord injuries?
Vocal cord injuries are disorders affecting the vocal cords. The vocal cords are the two bands of smooth muscle tissue that can be found in the larynx (also known as our windpipe). They play an important role in producing the sound of your voice.
Most cases of vocal cord injuries are a result of misuse or abuse. Here are some of the most common vocal cord disorders:
Also known as the inflammation of the vocal cords, laryngitis occurs as a result of infections, excessive use of the voice, irritants, and GERD.
The most distinct symptom of the condition is the raspiness or hoarseness of the voice.
Vocal cord paralysis
Vocal cord paralysis happens when one of the vocal cords doesn’t open or function properly. It can be a result of head, neck, or chest injury, lung or thyroid cancer, stroke, or viral infection.
Vocal cord paralysis can be a life-threatening condition, especially that food and water could get into trachea and lungs.
Vocal polyps are non-cancerous growths in the vocal cords. It can cause your voice to get low and breathy.
How are vocal cord injuries diagnosed and treated?
Aside from hoarseness or changes in the voice that lasts for more than 2 weeks, specialists are also looking into the condition of the vocal cords themselves to pinpoint the cause.
To determine the condition of the vocal cords, a specialist may perform tests such as laryngoscopy and laryngeal electromyography.
Treatment for vocal cord injuries vary, depending on the cause, severity of the condition, your age, your overall health condition, and your preference.
In some cases, you may have to start with more conservative measures such as resting your voice and/or avoiding irritants. Depending on your injury, you may be prescribed with medicines or be recommended for surgery.
Greater Knoxville ENT has specialists who can look into your condition, identify the cause of your injury, and recommend the most suitable treatment option for you.
To request an appointment, you may call us at (865) 521-8050.