Vocal Cord Nodules are benign (that is, not associated with cancer) growths that occur on the free surface where the vocal cords come into contact with each other. They occur as a result of misuse or abuse of sound. They can be compared to calluses on our hands or feet with a rough analogy, as they develop due to prolonged, wrong volume, wrong pitch or improper use of sound. It is seen much more frequently in individuals who use their voices professionally, such as teachers, sound artists, announcers, call center workers, religious officials, compared to other segments of the society.
The symptoms of a vocal cord nodule are usually hoarseness, change in voice, your forked voice, and hoarseness. Professional voice users may express that their voice is lower-pitched or that their voice is more pale and rusty than normal. In addition to the change in their voices, individuals may complain of pain in the muscles around the neck, difficulty in speaking or even swallowing, with increased use of voice.
During speech, an ordinary man’s vocal cords collide an average of 120 times per second, and a woman’s vocal cords 200 times. Therefore, the vocal cords are the most traumatized soft tissue of the body.
In case of hoarseness lasting more than 2 weeks in individuals who do not use their voice professionally, it is absolutely necessary to consult a voice doctor. A professional audio user usually does not have the luxury to wait that long. Your voice surgeon will want to know your professional voice expectations in detail after listening to your complaints and having enough information about your voice health and general medical history. When talking about professional sound, the individual whose diagnosis and treatment is being dealt with does not necessarily have to be a sound artist. In fact, most occupational groups express themselves and their work with their voices during the day. These include teachers, lawyers, call center workers, banks, municipalities, post office units, those who need their voices to serve their customers, clerks, tradesmen, religious officials and many more professional groups.
With a detailed examination of your voice and vocal cords (which is ideal for dual laryngovideostroboscopy and objective voice analysis), it is possible to diagnose a vocal cord nodule and determine its cause.
The two main methods in the treatment of nodules are voice therapy and surgery.
The ideal way to treat a nodule, which is a voice problem due to bad or misuse of the voice, is to not continue using the voice in this way. Acquiring habits to use the voice correctly and the use of the right vocal technique to prevent excessive pressure on the vocal cords will not only reduce or even disappear the nodules, but also eliminate the risk of their recurrence. The main method that teaches the correct use of sound is sound therapy.
Some nodules are extremely resistant to treatments, including voice therapy. Appropriate voice technique, strictly followed sound hygiene rules and even nodules that do not improve despite voice therapy are treated with special surgeries called phonomicrosurgery, performed under general anesthesia with a microscope.