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Have you ever experienced hoarseness? If you are a teacher, sales or parent, hoarseness may be caused by frequent use of voice, leading to the development of small nodules or polyps. If you are a smoker, hoarseness may be the initial signs of cancer; you should never neglect this symptom.

Diagnosis of hoarseness

Doctors would perform an ENT examination, and place the laryngoscope into the nasal pharynx, to look for signs of vocal polyps and thickening.

Hoarseness treatment – conventional methods

Generally speaking, drinking plenty of water, letting the vocal cord to rest and taking anti-inflammatory medications can relieve hoarseness. Patients may also be referred to speech therapists to get a better understanding of the use of voice, so as to improve the techniques of using their voices, such as strength, speed and volume. This kind of speech therapy takes 4-6 classes per course, about 1 hour per each class.

Treatment of hoarseness – surgical intervention

For patients with vocal polyps, flexible videolaryngoscopy is more suitable. This surgery has to be performed in hospital and no open wound is required. ENT doctors would place the videolaryngoscopy into the patient’s oral cavity, confirm the position of vocal cord nodules or polyps and remove them. If the cancer is suspected, doctors would perform biopsy at the same time.

After the surgery, patients are required to stay overnight to observe for side effects. Though coarseness will be improved immediately, patients should speak less and allow the vocal cord to rest more 1-2 weeks after the surgery, so as to enhance recovery, otherwise hoarseness may recur.

Single fold vocal cord palsy treatment

Besides chronic use of vocal cord would lead to hoarseness, stroke, thyroid surgery and other unknown causes may also lead to single fold vocal cord palsy. Patients may have difficulty swallowing and breathing. If food is dislodged into the lung, it may lead to pneumonia. Doctors may inject fillings into the vocal cord, such as silicon, to allow vocal cord to close normally, improving hoarseness and difficulty swallowing. Ways to protect your voice:

“Drink more honey and citrus water can protect your voice!” This is a false belief in the general public. In order to protect your voice, you should speak less with slow pace, suitable volume, not too loud or soft. For teachers or sales or anyone who has to talk frequently, they should allow the vocal cord to rest regularly for 10-15 minutes and drink more water to moisturize their vocal cord. Please note that the water temperature should be around room temperature.

The information on this website is for general educational purpose only.
Readers should consult their physician before considering treatment, and should not interpret their condition solely based on the information above.