Vocal cord cyst

Vocal cords consist of two folding of mucous membrane stretched across larynx which is situated inside the throat. Larynx functions like a valve that opens the tube of esophagus for the passage of air for breathing. This valve has the ability to closes the passage when swallowing food or other substances like medicines. When speaking or singing air passes through the vocal cords causing it to vibrate and thus sounds are produced. Formation of cysts in the vocal cords affects its ability to vibrate and produce proper sound.

The reasons for the formation of cysts in the vocal cords are not fully understood by the medical science. It is believed that the cysts are formed in the vocal cords as a congenital disorder. Vocal cord cysts can also be generated due to abuse of vocal cords by continuous and strenuous use. Poor vocal hygiene is also considered to be as a reason for the formation of vocal cord cyst.

Symptoms

1) Harshness in sound
2) Voice break is noticed at certain pitches.
3) Throat pain can be felt while speaking or singing

Diagnosis

If any of the symptoms stated above has been noticed for a continuous period of one or two weeks, then it is advisable that you may meet a physician. If an ENT specialist is available around the corner, then it is better to meet him. He will make a detailed case study based on the symptoms shown by you. A completed examination of your vocal cords will be done by him using a flexible laryngoscope in which a flexible camera will be inserted to the throat through your nose. Videosthroboscopy is another cutting edge technology in which a magnified view of the vocal cord action in slow motion is viewed by the physician and the speech language pathologist.

Treatment Options

Conventional treatment options like rest, voice therapy, medication etc can be practiced as a first step. If no significant improvement is noticed by these methods then only surgical methods will be suggested by the physician. In this method patient is given anesthesia and when he is sleeping laryngoscope, which is an instrument with a camera on one end of it is inserted into the throat through his nostrils to examine the vocal cords. A microscope is used to enlarge the view of the vocal cords. Specialized miniature instruments are used to cut the cyst and they are then removed. This is a complicated surgery which requires considerable expertise and accuracy for its successful completion. After this surgery, complete rest for vocal cords is very much essential. Through voice therapy your ability to speak can be completely restored.

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