Speech Therapy

Communication Disability In Vocal Fold Cyst

A cyst is a sac-like formation on the body surface. It has a thin covering around it called a membrane. It may be filled with air, fluid or any semi-solid material. It is generally confused with an abscess, which is also a sac-like formation on the body surface but contains pus. Sometimes a cyst goes away itself but may require surgery at times for its removal.

Vocal folds are popularly called Vocal chords . These are responsible for the voice formation in Humans. men and Women have different sizes of Vocal Folds. Adult males have larger vocal folds of 17-25mm in length. In adult female the size is 12.5-17.5 mm in length . This difference in sizes makes the difference of pitch and sound in males and females. These folds are faintly white due to less blood supply. These vocal folds control the flow of air during sound production.

Sometimes, cysts are formed on the vocal folds, thereby causing disturbances while speaking. This is termed as Vocal Fold Cysts .

Signs and Symptoms seen in Vocal Fold Cysts:

  • Dysphonia (i.e.- production of multiple sounds at a time)
  • Hoarseness in voice or breathy sound
  • Pain in throat
  • Swelling on vocal folds

More females develop this condition than males. The menstrual cycle sometimes changes the size of the cyst.

Types of Vocal Fold Cysts:

Mucus Retention Cysts:
This condition may occur after infection in the upper respiratory portion in the body. This type of cyst blocks the secretion of body fluids.

Epidermoid cysts:
This condition is generally resulted prior to birth. But in few cases, it may have occured due to injury to the mucous membrane. A ruptured cyst may form a scar.

Most basic treatment involves:
Vocal Training:
The patients undergo practising singing or giving speech as a mode of therapy. The pitch, range of the pitch, rate of speaking etc. are controlled by therapists.

Speech Therapy:
This helps in speech and voice production, swallowing difficulties, movement of jaw and lips and language.

Medical Support:
Doctors may be refered to decrease the irritation in the throat due to the cyst. Even surgery is done to remove the cyst.

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