Voice disorder can affect anyone in life. This may prevent you from carrying out your normal day-to-day life and may lead to loss of earning in some people.
A professional voice user includes anyone who relies significantly on his or her voice to earn a leaving. This may be a singer, schoolteacher, an instructor, news broadcaster, sales person etc. This group of people are most affected by voice disorders
Our specialist has an extensive experience and an extra postgraduate degree in diagnosing and treating voice disorder.
More about voice problems.
Voice is generated from the voice box, which contains two cords-like structures call vocal cords. Although the vocal cords look like two simple cords that vibrates it has an extremely delicate and complex anatomic structure.
A change in voice is only a manifestation of a problem that might be affecting one or both vocal cords. Some of the commonest causes of voice problem might be related to your occupation and social life. The professional voice users might suffer changes in their voice due to vocal cord nodules (often call singers nodules), vocal fatigue, polyps, acid reflux, bruising in the vocal cord layers due to poor technique of singing and over use etc. Occasionally changes in voice might be a sign of a cancer and this most common in smokers and people over the age of 40 years old. Sometimes the voice problem might be due to a paralysed vocal cord from an infection or growth.
"Our ENT Specialist has an extensive experience in diagnosing and treating voice disorders"
Still more on voice disorders.
The vocal cords What are vocal cords?
Vocal cords are two cord-like structures covered by mucous membrane. They are located in the larynx. The mechanism of voice production is complex. Sound is normally generated as air from the lungs passes up between the two vocal cords. The recurrent laryngeal nerve helps to move the vocal cords apart during breathing and brings them together during speaking or singing.
The nerves supply to the vocal cords are call the recurrent laryngeal nerves. These nerves are call re-current because the passed the larynx and reaches the chest before coming back to supply the vocal cords. The reasons lies in the the embryological development when the heart and lungs develops along side the voice box high up in the neck but the lungs and heart drag the nerve with it as the nerve is hooked around the major blood vessel of the heart the aorta.
Vocal cord nodules What are Vocal cord nodules?
Vocal cord nodules are tiny swellings that develops in the mid point of vocal cord at its medial vibrating boarders. They are akin to calluses. Nodules develops in this area of the vocal cord because it is the area of maximum contact between the two vocal cords. Excessive use or poor use of the vocal cords is what leads to vocal cord nodules. This is use to be call singers nodule because it is most common in singers. But it can occur in any one that uses their voice a lot for example teachers, salespersons, instructors, news broadcasters etc. Children can also develop vocal cord nodules if they shout a lot especially during playing football.
What are the symptoms of vocal cord nodules?
The first symptoms of vocal cord nodules are changes to the voice. The voice might be hoarse, breathy and rough. Sometimes there may be throat discomfort after using the voice for a prolong period. The symptoms are due to air leak around the nodules.
The diagnosis is made by examination of the vocal cords. Because the vocal cords are hidden deep down in the throat, it can only be visualize adequately with a small fibre optic endoscopy about 3mm in diameter through the nose or mouth. Sometimes local anesthetic nasal spray might be use to reduce discomfort from this examination but on the whole it is not a painful examination.
Once you are diagnosed with vocal cord nodules, the first treatment is voice rest. You will then need the help of a speech therapist to educate you about voice hygiene and different vocal techniques to improve your vocal cord function. Most cases of vocal cord nodules will resolve with just the speech therapy alone. In cases where speech therapy fails to improve symptoms, surgery might be required to remove the nodules. There is a small chance that nodules might recur if the cause is not corrected by speech therapy.
What is ageing voice?
An ageing voice is a condition call presbylarynges. The vocal cord losses its elasticity and collagen bulkiness gradually with age similar to the mechanism in skin wrinkles formation. This will then result into loss of power and loudness to voice. The voice might even sound breathy and weak. The onset of this changes is usually after the age of 50 but it can start quite early on just like the eye and hearing might start deteriorating very early in some people.
This is usually diagnosed by history taking and a simple endoscopic examination of the voice box in the clinic.
Once the diagnoses is made, the first treatment is usually voice exercise with the help of a speech therapist. In some cases, an injection of fat, Calcium gel, hyaluronic acid or collagen might be necessary to restore the bulkiness of the vocal cords. This injection might be repeated if needed.
Links to news on ageing voice;
Other vocal cords problems
Tel +44 (0)161 393 3995
Mon - Fri 8am - 5pm
Weekends - Closed
Bank Holiday's - Closed
Out of Hours: