• Types of Voice Disorders

    There is a wide array of voice disorders that can be classified into various groups (e.g., inflammatory disorders, problems caused by overuse or misuse, vocal cord growths and neuromuscular disorders). At Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, we have the expertise and technology to diagnose and treat all of them, including rare and often misdiagnosed conditions. These are some of the more commonly seen types of voice problems: 

    • Laryngitis is an inflammation or swelling of the vocal folds caused by excessive use of the voice, bacterial or viral infections, or irritants such as inhaled chemicals or stomach acid that has backed up into the throat. 
       
    • Vocal cord paralysis (or paresis) is a voice disorder that occurs when one or both of the vocal cords do not open or close properly. Vocal cord paralysis is a common disorder, and symptoms range from mild to life threatening. Someone who has vocal cord paralysis often also has difficulty swallowing and coughing because food or liquids can slip into the trachea and lungs. 
       
    • Spasmodic dysphonia is a voice disorder caused by involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the voice box, causing the voice to break or to have a strained or strangled quality. 
       
    • Vocal nodules are small, benign (noncancerous) growths on the vocal cords, usually related to vocal abuse. Frequently seen among teachers and professional singers, vocal nodules are callus-like growths that form by repeated pressure at the juncture where the folds come together to vibrate. Vocal cord scarring can occur as a result of vocal nodules. 
       
    • Vocal polyps are benign growths similar to vocal nodules but are softer and more like blisters than calluses. They most often form on only one vocal cord. A vocal polyp is often associated with long-term cigarette smoking but may also be linked to hypothyroidism (decreased activity of the thyroid gland), gastroesophageal reflux or chronic vocal misuse.  

    We also treat throat, laryngeal and thyroid cancers
     

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