Vocal fold nodules are calluses that occur on the vocal folds from overuse and misuse. Nodules are benign growths which are often seen in young children who speak loudly
Causes of vocal fold nodules include:
- Chronic voice overuse
- Voice misuse
Symptoms of nodules include:
- Rough voice
- Vocal fatigue, or tiring, with overuse
Diagnosis of nodules is made during laryngoscopy and stroboscopy.
Nodules are seen in the midportion of the vocal folds, and are typically located on both vocal folds. When large enough nodules prevent closure of the vocal folds, causing air escape during voice production.
Treatment for Nodules:
Vocal fold nodules are most commonly treated with voice therapy. During voice therapy a speech language pathologist teaches a patient how to enhance vocal fold function and avoid behaviors that can cause nodules.
Surgery is not commonly used in management of nodules. Often when nodules are removed, they return if patients continue with the same vocal habits.
However, when the diagnosis is in question, microlaryngoscopy may be performed. Under general anesthesia, the surgeon can examine the vocal folds using a microscope. In special circumstance nodules may be removed with fine instruments. Steroid injections may be used to decrease inflammation for nodules as well.