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Vocal Nodules and Your Voice

Vocal nodules are a common condition caused by non-cancerous growths on the vocal cords. They cause the voice to sound raspy, hoarse, or even nasal. Some other common conditions are polyps and cysts. We will go over vocal nodules and your voice, so you can learn how to protect your voice from the damage they can cause.

Causes of Nodules

As a singer, announcer, speaker, or another type of vocalist, you are more at risk. One of the most common causes of nodules is voice overuse. Voice overuse can occur when you sing or talk for long periods or too loudly. Some people this could affect are performers, lawyers, sports announcers, teachers, etc. Some other causes of nodules are repetitive coughing, acid reflux, allergies, and smoking.

Signs to Look Out For

If you are constantly using your voice or commonly experience one or more of the following causes, it is important to look out for any signs of nodules. The signs may not always be noticeable, so talk to your doctor if you have any concerns. Some signs to look for are:

  • Neck pain
  • A raspy or scratchy voice
  • Hoarseness
  • Breathiness
  • Feeling like a lump is stuck in the throat

Prevention and Treatment

man speaking into a megaphone to avoid overuse

There are many ways to help prevent and treat vocal nodules. If you do have nodules, treatment can include either voice therapy or surgery and voice therapy. Either way, lifestyle changes will need to be made. Here are some ways to help prevent vocal nodules:

  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid second-hand smoke
  • Limit alcohol & caffeine intake
  • Drink more water
  • Use a microphone rather than raising your voice
  • Keep a humidifier in your home
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Warm-up your voice before performances or speeches
  • Give your voice the rest it needs
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid stress
  • Avoid using your voice when sick

Learning about vocal nodules and your voice can help you avoid these problems. It is so important to make the changes necessary if nodules are something you do not want to risk. To learn more about vocal strain, check out our article, “Vocal Abuse and Misuse“. Our Clear Voice Spray is also a great way to prevent throat irritation.

Sources

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15424-vocal-cord-lesions-nodules-polyps-and-cysts/prevention

https://utswmed.org/conditions-treatments/vocal-cord-nodules-polyps-and-cysts/

https://www.dukehealth.org/treatments/voice-disorders/vocal-nodules