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Vocal fold nodule

A vocal fold nodule reduces or obstructs the ability of the vocal folds to create the rapid changes in air pressure which generate human speech. Symptoms include hoarseness of speech, painful speech production, and reduced vocal range.

What causes these formations are usually strenuous or abusive voice practices such as yelling and coughing. Persons which are often susceptible include cheerleaders, politicians, and musicians.

The physical impact of having vocal fold nodules does not usually harm one's health, though it can impair one's speaking and singing ability. Perhaps more importantly are the psychological factors when the doctor informs the patient that he/she has nodules. Especially in those who use their voice in their profession (e.g. singers, actors, broadcasters) a nodule can sufficiently diminish the quality of their speech and singing which may necessitate a career change.

Removal of vocal fold nodules is relatively safe and minor surgery. While the patient is subdued under general anesthesia the use of long, thin scissors and knives are used to remove the nodules.

See also

vocal fold cyst