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If you have this condition, then it will be difficult for you to speak and even breathe.

Vocal cords or folds not only produce sound but also protect your airway by preventing liquids, drinks, water, food, and even your saliva from entering your windpipe and choking risk.

What are the symptoms of vocal cord paralysis?

Vocal cords are just like doors. They are present at the entrance of the trachea (the windpipe). They vibrate in making sounds and speaking. They remain in an open position to allow breathing. Paralysis occurs in either one or both vocal cords. In a majority of the cases, only one cord is paralyzed. In rare cases, paralysis occurs in both vocal cords. When this happens, speaking, breathing and swallowing can become difficult.

The signs and symptoms of a paralyzed vocal cord may include:

  • Loss of vocal pitch
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Heavy and breathy voice
  • Noisy breathing
  • Frequent throat clearing
  • Difficulty swallowing drink, food, or saliva
  • Coughing or choking while swallowing
  • Inability to speak loudly

What are the causes of vocal cord paralysis?

Nerve damage, cancer of the throat, viral infections, and surgical injuries can damage the vocal cords.

What are the causes of vocal cord paralysis?

Damage caused to the nerves that control the voice box (larynx) can paralyze the muscles that control the voice box and lead to vocal cord paralysis. Though the exact cause of vocal cord paralysis cannot be determined, some of the known causes of vocal cord paralysis include:

Infections: Herpes, Epstein-Barr virus, and Lyme disease can cause infections, inflammation, and damage to the nerves in the voice box.

Brain stroke: When a stroke damage the part of the brain that sends messages to the voice box it can lead to paralysis of the voice box

Chest or neck injury: An injury or trauma to the chest or neck can injure and damage the nerves that serve the voice box and vocal cord.

Injury during surgery: Surgery in the upper chest or near the neck can damage the nerves that serve the voice box and lead to vocal cord paralysis.

How is vocal cord paralysis diagnosed?

Your ENT doctor may ask you about the symptoms, listens to your voice, and asks you about the duration of your symptoms. To further evaluate your voice problems, the doctor may perform a laryngoscopy, laryngeal electromyography, blood tests, and scans.

What is the treatment for vocal cord paralysis?

Treatment depends on the extent of damage, symptoms, cause, and duration of the condition. In many cases, the treatment may involve voice therapy, bulk injection surgery, and a combination of other therapies. Surgical options may include bulk injections, the use of an implant to reposition the vocal cord (laryngeal framework surgery); replacement of the damaged nerve, and tracheotomy.

If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of vocal cord paralysis, then consult Dr. Neetu Modgil for an accurate diagnosis and prompt and effective treatment.



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