Singers diagnosed with a voice disorder often worry about losing their voice and no longer being able to perform. However, the truth is that most voice problems are temporary and can be addressed with the right treatment.
Vocal Cord Nodules and Their Causes
One of the most common causes of panic among singers is vocal cord nodules. Nodules occur when the vocal cords are abused or overused through yelling, intense coughing, and other strenuous vocal tasks.
Human vocal cords vibrate between 100 to 1,000 times per second, and this constant vibration can exhaust our vocal cords. Without the appropriate amount of rest, soft and swollen patches will begin to form along your vocal folds. Over time, these patches will develop into harder callous-like bumps – nodules.
Nodules do not develop overnight or after just one instance of vocal abuse. They are a result of frequent overuse and abuse, forceful coughing, and improper techniques in singing. Vocal cord nodules can develop in all age groups and affect both men and women. People who have vocally demanding jobs, like singers and lecturers, are more likely to develop nodules.
Symptoms and Manifestations of Vocal Cord Nodules
You may be able to tell if you have vocal cord nodules if your speaking voice begins to sound husky, hoarse, and breathy. When you are singing, you may notice that your upper register is unstable or even nonexistent. You may also find it difficult to sustain high or low notes and manage your passaggio.
Diagnosing and Treating Vocal Cord Nodules
If you experience any of these symptoms for more than five days, it is best to see an experienced ENT who can provide you with a proper diagnosis. An ENT doctor will perform a laryngoscopy or stroboscopy to directly inspect your vocal cords. This is a simple and painless in-office procedure to confirm whether you have vocal cord nodules.
It is important to let your doctor know that you are a singer by profession so they can give you the best treatment that fits your vocal demands and allowance.
Voice Specialists in Denver
Vocal cord nodules are no cause for alarm. With the proper diagnosis, the appropriate therapy program, and a lot of vocal rest, you will regain your voice.
Peak ENT is a voice clinic in Denver that specializes in the treatment and diagnosis of a wide range of voice problems. For vocal cord nodules, our recommended treatment of vocal nodules is typically voice therapy.
We have a team of voice therapists who will identify any underlying behavioral problems that led to the development of the nodules. We work closely with you in creating a therapy program that you can easily follow and fits right into your vocal allowance. By modifying your vocal habits, we will help you on your journey to recovery.
Huge vocal demands require long periods of rest. Through our individual vocal rest recommendations, you can go back to doing impressive vocal acrobatics as comfortably as you can.