Vocal Cord Disorders

Symptoms and Causes of Vocal Cord Disorders

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed or have had a few problems, there are certain signs to look out for. Some of these include a cough that doesn’t go away or pain in the neck. There are also symptoms of a problem with the vocal cords, such as hoarseness. If you’ve ever had any of these symptoms, you might want to talk to your doctor to make sure you don’t have a voice disorder.


Symptoms of vocal cord disorders may include a hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, or trouble breathing. These conditions can occur when your vocal cords don’t open or close properly. A doctor can diagnose the condition with a medical history and a physical examination. Depending on the cause, treatment can be done with surgery, voice therapy, or medication.

There are many causes of vocal cord disorders. Some common ones are smoking, coughing, laryngitis, and allergies. In addition to these, certain illnesses can also affect the nerves that connect the voice box.

Another type of voice disorder is a condition called laryngospasm. This condition occurs when the vocal cords become inflamed and don’t open properly. This can happen due to an infection or a disease, such as a cold or the flu. Other causes of laryngospasm are reflux and environmental irritants. It can cause a fever, a sore throat, and fatigue.

If the condition is more serious, a doctor might perform a tracheostomy, which involves creating an opening in the neck beneath the vocal cords. This can relieve some of the breathing problems associated with VCD.

The symptoms of vocal cord disorders can be scary. They can make people think that they are having an asthma attack. However, the symptoms are caused by the air moving through a smaller area than it usually does. If you experience any of these symptoms, get to the emergency room immediately.

A medical history, physical exam, and clinical exam are used by physicians to diagnose voice and speech disorders. If you have vocal cord paralysis, you should learn to relax and use breathing techniques to reduce the number of episodes. If you don’t, you could suffer from a life-threatening condition.

Other types of voice disorders include spasmodic dysphonia, paradoxical vocal fold movement, sulcus vocalis, and muscle tension dysphonia. They all can cause a hoarse or weak voice, and a tight voice. They can also be treated with botulinum toxin injections. These treatments can prevent future episodes of vocal cord dysfunction.

Vocal cord nodules are small, non-cancerous calluses that form on the vocal cords. They are more common in people who have a high amount of vocal abuse, such as singers and actors.


Identifying the underlying cause of vocal cord disorders is crucial to successful treatment. A patient’s complete health history and physical examination can help identify the cause of the condition.

Certain diseases or nervous system disorders can cause the nerves in the throat to become damaged. These diseases include a variety of infections, cancers and growths. In these cases, the vocal cords may not work properly, causing a person to have difficulty breathing. The disorder can be reversed and preventable.

One way to diagnose the disorder is with an image analysis software program. This software was developed in MATLAB (MathWorks). By using segmented high-speed vocal cord vibration videos, the amplitude and frequency of vibrations on the left and right glottis were calculated. The data were then analyzed and plotted to determine clinical parameters.

Other symptoms that may occur are a hoarse voice, tightness in the throat, trouble swallowing, coughing and difficulty talking. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. You may be referred to a voice and speaking specialist for further testing.

A vocal polyp is a soft noncancerous growth that can change the sound of your voice. They may also cause you to breathe more deeply and become breathy. These growths may also change your voice tone, producing a lower, nasal voice. If your doctor suspects that you have a polyp, you may need surgery to remove the growth and get voice therapy to help you talk normally again.

The symptom of a VCD episode is often the same as an asthma attack. This is because the increased work of breathing occurs as the mechanical loading of the airway increases. If you are experiencing symptoms of an asthma attack, you should visit your doctor as soon as you can.

A 17-month-old child was treated for asthma and had nocturnal coughing that was harsh and irregular. The child’s x-rays and head magnetic resonance imaging showed a Chiari 1 malformation. This was confirmed to be the cause of asthma. The child’s symptoms disappeared once the VCD was treated.


Various diseases can affect the nerves of the vocal cord. Affected individuals have hoarse voices, strained voices, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms can be mild or severe, depending on the severity of the disease. Fortunately, many types of vocal cord disorders are curable. However, treatment may involve surgery.

There are several types of surgeries to treat vocal cord disorders. These include phonomicrosurgery, endoscopic CO2 laser cordotomy, arytenoidectomy, and tracheostomy. Other treatments may be used, such as bulk injection therapy, filling injection therapy, or speech therapy.

In a phonomicrosurgery, a flexible tube is placed just above the vocal cords. A surgeon then cuts the nodules. This procedure is often done under general anesthesia and takes approximately 30-60 minutes. After the operation, patients are not allowed to speak for a week. The doctor will also instruct the patient in relaxation techniques to help the patient stop the episodes.

The endoscopic CO2 laser cordotomy method enlarges the area by incising the back of the vocal cord. This technique is used for bilateral paralysis. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed in a hospital or an outpatient clinic.

Ayrtenoidectomy is a type of surgery that removes the arytenoid cartilage in the larynx. This surgery may also be combined with a tissue transplant or nerve transplant. In this case, a healthy nerve is moved from a different area of the neck to replace the damaged nerve. The recovery time is about six to nine months.

Surgical removal of polyps in the vocal cords is another way to treat vocal cord disorders. The most common forms are squamous cell carcinoma and papilloma. These growths are caused by smoking, injury, illness, or abuse.

These growths can also be caused by contact ulcers. The symptoms are similar to those of squamous cell carcinoma. If the growth is large enough, radiation therapy or surgery may be recommended.

The best way to prevent a vocal cord disorder is to avoid the triggers that can cause it. You can also prevent or reverse it by using voice exercises, stress reduction techniques, and learning to relax your vocal cords.


Keeping a healthy voice is one of the best ways to prevent vocal cord disorders. It is important to avoid smoking, alcohol, and other irritants that dry out the throat. This can lead to laryngitis and nodules on the vocal folds. Using a humidifier at home can help keep your throat moist.

It is also important to eat a balanced diet. You should not drink large amounts of alcohol, caffeine, or spicy foods. These types of foods can cause stomach acid to move into the throat. You should also wash your hands often.

You should get regular checkups from an otolaryngologist, a specialist who specializes in diseases of the ear, nose, and throat. An otolaryngologist will be able to determine if you have a problem with your voice and will be able to treat it. If you do have a problem with your voice, a speech-language pathologist can assist you in learning how to speak without strain. They can also help you find the right pitch.

There are many medicines that can be used to treat a variety of voice disorders. Some medicines can be taken by mouth, while others can be injected into the vocal cords. Some medicines are designed to reduce swelling and inflammation. If your voice problems are caused by an infection, antibiotics may be helpful.

You can also use certain relaxation techniques to stop episodes of VCD. These techniques can also help you to control your breathing. You can learn to breathe through your nose instead of your mouth. This will help you to inhale more deeply and comfortably.

If you have been suffering from a VCD for a long time, you may need surgery. Surgeons can remove growths on the vocal cords through microsurgery. You can also have surgery to reposition your vocal cord. The procedure will involve opening up the neck below your vocal cords and inserting a tube into your windpipe.

In severe cases, you may need to have a tracheostomy. This is a surgical procedure in which a tube is inserted into your windpipe.

Health Sources:

Health A to Z. (n.d.). HSE.ie. https://www2.hse.ie/az/

U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

Directory Health Topics. (n.d.). https://www.healthline.com/directory/topics

Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-a-z-4014770

Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z. https://www.health.harvard.edu/health-a-to-z

Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.). EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman

Susan Silverman is a Healthy Home Remedies Writer for Home Remedy Lifestyle! With over 10 years of experience, I've helped countless people find natural solutions to their health problems. At Home Remedy Lifestyle, we believe that knowledge is power. I am dedicated to providing our readers with trustworthy, evidence-based information about home remedies and natural medical treatments. I love finding creative ways to live a healthy and holistic lifestyle on a budget! It is my hope to empower our readers to take control of their health!

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