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Vocal Damage: Nodes or other….

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Vocal Damage: Nodes or other….

This past weekend, I went to a fantastic master class hosted by Reena Gupta, MD, FACS. She is the director of the Division of Voice and Laryngology at the Osborne Head and Neck Institute.  Click the link to check her out.  She did a few sessions on vocal damage, including scoping a few people to check out their vocal cords.

When talking about nodules, Dr. Gupta said 90% of the time they are misdiagnosed.  Usually patients come seeking a second opinion or worried they have nodules and they don’t.  She also said that the most common demographic for nodules are females under 30.  The main thing to know about nodules is that they happen over time-3 or 6 months to a year of repeated damaged and insufficient healing of trauma.  The best thing to do is goi to

So what else could it be?  Vocal Cyst, Vocal Polyp, Vocal Hemorrhage, Vocal Papillomas, Vocal Atrophy, Vocal Paralysis, Vocal Granuloma, or Reflux.

Nodules and How you get them:

Nodules are thickenings or callouses that form on the vocal folds. They are a result of vocal trauma without periods of rest.  Poor technique and over use.

Nodules and what they look like:

Nodules and Symptoms:

  • Hoarseness in speaking voice
  • Decreased range (no longer hitting higher notes easily)
  • Hoarseness (irregular, inconsistent quality) in your professional voice (singing, upper range)
  • Inability to sing quietly
  • Inability to hold a pitch steady
  • Decreased timbre or vibrancy of tone
  • Vocal fatigue (feeling worn out after a performance)
  • Throat discomfort, pain, or tightness

Nodules and Treatment:

Sometimes they will go away with complete vocal rest for a month or more.  But the real issue is that whatever prolonged abuse caused the nodules, unless you change that, they are likely to return.  Surgery might be necessary as well.  Definitely go to a laryngologist to be scoped if you think you have them.  Early detection can help you avoid surgery.

Polyps and How you get them:

Polyps are fluid-filled collections that form on the edge of a vocal cord. They are a result of vocal trauma without periods of rest.

Polyps and What they look like:

Polyps and Symptoms:

 

  • Hearing two pitches at the same time
  • Hearing a flutter/quiver in your voice
  • Hoarseness in your speaking voice
  • Hoarseness (irregular, inconsistent quality) in your professional voice (singing, voiceover, etc)
  • Decreased range (no longer hitting higher notes easily)
  • Inability to sing quietly
  • Inability to hold a pitch steady
  • Decreased color or vibrancy of tone
  • Vocal fatigue (feeling worn out after a performance)
  • Throat discomfort, pain, or tightness

Polyps and Treatment:

Definitely go to a laryngologist to be scoped if you think you have them.  Early detection can help you avoid surgery.  Treatment may include medicine, vocal therapy and vocal rest.

 

 

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