Vocal cord polyps typically appear on one side of the vocal cord in the throat and can take numerous shapes and sizes. They may occur as a bump or swelling, a blister-like lesion, or a stalk-like growth within the throat. Polyps cause a range of voice disturbances that vary based on the nature of the individual polyp. They are sometimes referred to by other names, including Reinke’s edema and polypoid degeneration.
Causes of Vocal Cord Polyps
Although it is difficult to determine the causes precisely, long-term vocal abuse or a traumatic event are thought to cause vocal cord polyps. Yelling at a concert or overusing your voice while you are sick are a couple examples of traumatic events; other examples of vocal abuse include the following:
- Talking loudly
- Excessive caffeine or alcohol intake
- Speaking excessively
Symptoms of Vocal Cord Polyps
Persistent hoarseness or a change in the quality of your voice are early warning signs that you may have a polyp. Additional symptoms can include:
- Breathy voice
- A rough or scratchy voice
- Increased effort to speak or sing
- Low, gravely voice
- Feeling that you have a lump in your throat
- Unreliable voice
- Shooting pain from ear to ear
- Decreased pitch range
- Vocal fatigue
- Frequent throat clearing
- Inability to sing in a soft, high voice
The symptoms may improve or get worse over time, but they will continue and not go away on their own.
Diagnosis of Vocal Cord Polyps
If you live in the Pembroke Pines area and have experienced a hoarse voice or other symptoms for more than two or three weeks, then schedule an appointment with ENT Dr. Robert Contrucci. Dr. Contrucci will perform a complete history of the voice problem, a careful examination of the vocal cords, and other evaluations as necessary to diagnose the problem. Once a diagnosis has been made, Dr. Contrucci and his team will work with you to develop an individual treatment plan based on your specific situation.