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Speech:vocal fold nodules

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Nodules of vocal cords
ICD-10 J38.2
ICD-9 478.5
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MedlinePlus {{{MedlinePlus}}}
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MeSH {{{MeshNumber}}}

A vocal fold nodule (or "Nodules of vocal cords") is a nodule or mass of tissue that grows on the vocal folds.

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, frequent vocal breaks and reduced vocal range. Females and adolescent males are most likely to develop nodules.

The nodules appear as symmetric swellings on both sides of the vocal folds. The cause of these formations are usually strenuous or abusive voice practices such as yelling and coughing. Persons who are often susceptible are those who use their voice constantly in a loud environment. Examples include cheerleaders, politicians, teachers 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.

Treatment usually involves vocal training, speech therapy, and, occasionally, vocal rest. In rare cases, surgery may be required. 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.

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{{enWP|vocal fold nodules

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