Vocal Cord Damage – Diagnosis and Treatment
Any person who experiences vocal cord damage for more than two weeks should be immediately examined by a physician. One can actually refer an otolaryngologist, who is a surgeon/physician who is an expert on neck and head, throat, nose and ears diseases. While vocal cord damage like hoarseness is one of the primary symptom of vocal misuse or abuse, it is also considered as the first sign of larynx cancer. Read onto know more about the diagnosis and treatment of vocal cord damage.
Diagnosis of Vocal Cord Damage
A visit to the physician is more crucial for those who indulge in smoking, as this is closely associated with cancer of the larynx. The affected individual’s voice is examined by the otolaryngologist. Then it is determined whether a medical problem is causing the vocal cord damage. As part of this examination, the specialist most often checks the vocal cords directly. This is done by introducing a tiny mirror the affected individual’s mouth to the back of the throat. This medical procedure is known as laryngoscopy.
The otolaryngologist may also perform fiberoptic laryngoscopy. In this medical procedure, the otolaryngologist examines the damaged vocal cords by inserting a light and small camera either through the nose or mouth and finally into the throat. This medical procedure is most frequently used as it allows the doctor to view the patient’s vocal cord movement while talking.
After a follow-up, the otolaryngologist can refer the patient to a speech-language pathologist. An SLP is a medical professional who is trained to examine and treat individuals who have a swallowing, language, speech or voice disorders. All these disorders affect the person’s ability to communicate properly.
Treatment of Damaged Vocal Cords
You must be aware of the fact that most ailments of vocal misuse and abuse are reversible. The best method to treat is to identify and eradicate the vocal behaviour which is creating the voice disorder. In several cases, a few voice therapy sessions are extremely useful. The affected individual learns good and effective vocal techniques like eliminating forceful voicing or correct breath support during speech.
In some cases, eradicating the abuse or misuse and voice therapy sessions are not enough. Hence, there is a need for specific medication to hinder the production of stomach acid. This may be helpful. Some other cases may require a surgery to remove growths from the vocal cords. As most of the vocal cord damage recur easily post-surgery, one can follow voice therapy after surgery by a speech-language pathologist.