Are you dealing with the effects of vocal polyps?
Most people don’t notice issues with their vocal cords until the problem has become rather serious. People who use their voice a lot, as well as those who need to shout or work within noisy environments may be prone to vocal issues. It’s important to know whether you might be dealing with a vocal cord disorder and when you should turn to our Chicago otolaryngologist Dr. Gordon Siegel at Midwest ENT for treatment.
Common Vocal Cord Disorders
The most common vocal problems include,
- Nodules: Nodules are hard, callus-like growths that develop on the vocal cords (often the result of irritation and vocal abuse). Teachers, singers and people who have to use their voice on a regular basis for work may be prone to developing vocal cord nodules.
- Polyps: These soft growths are also the result of vocal abuse or exposure to certain irritants such as cigarette smoke. Long-term smokers are at an increased risk of developing polyps.
- Laryngitis: This condition causes inflammation or an infection of the vocal cords. If the inflammation is severe enough you may temporarily lose your voice. Causes of laryngitis include vocal abuse, viral infections, heartburn or allergies.
- Ulcer: Vocal cord ulcers aren’t as common as the other conditions listed above; however, they can cause serious vocal cord erosion. Ulcers are more common in public speakers as well as those who have gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD).
Symptoms of Vocal Cord Disorders
As you might imagine, those dealing with vocal cord disorders often experience symptoms that impact the sound, quality and tone of their voice. One of the most common symptoms of a vocal cord disorder is hoarseness, which is present in most of the conditions above. If you are dealing with laryngitis caused by an infection then you may also experience a fever, fatigue or sore throat.
Those with ulcers, polyps and nodules may also notice that they have a low-pitched voice that tires easily. Ulcers may also cause throat pain. Our Chicago ENT doctor should evaluate your vocal cords if you’ve been dealing with,
- Hoarseness for more than two weeks
- You have trouble swallowing
- You feel like you have a lump in your throat
- You are experiencing unexpected throat pain
- You have lost your voice for more than a few days
Considering Vocal Cord Surgery
Surgery is usually not necessary unless the patient has not experienced any relief from their symptoms through nonsurgical treatment options. If you are still dealing with hoarseness and inflammation then our otolaryngologist may recommend surgery to remove the benign growth or scar tissue. There are several techniques that can improve these common vocal cord disorders.
About Midwest ENT
Midwest ENT in Chicago is a proud member of Northwestern Private Practice, a group of independent physicians that provide top medical care to patients living in Chicagoland. Our goal is to provide patients with a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible, often within a week.
If you want to discuss whether voice surgery is the most effective way to treat your vocal cysts, polyps or other issues then call our office today at (312) 988-777 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Siegel.