Vocal Cord Paralysis or Weakness of Voice Box

Throat | Otorhinolaryngology | Vocal Cord Paralysis or Weakness of Voice Box (Disease)


Vocal cords protect the respiratory pathways by preventing entry into the trachea of food and liquids, even saliva, and thus preventing the occurrence of drowning.

In paralyzed vocal cord, signs and symptoms could be: a hissing voice; a hoarse voice; choking or coughing while swallowing food, liquids or saliva; often need to breathe while you talk; inability to speak loudly; ineffective cough. If both vocal cords will be affected, can present signs and symptoms above, and known respiration. Intervention in the neck region or upper chest can result in damage to the nerves that serve your voice box. Surgeries that this risk are those of the thyroid, esophagus, throat and chest. Trauma to the neck or chest can injure the nerves that innervate the vocal cords or voice box.

Causes and Risk factors

Rarely, vocal cord paralysis may be life threatening. If both cords are affected, being paralyzed in closed position, a person cannot breathe properly. Vocal cord paralysis can occur after surgery in the neck, inside or outside, when the nerves that control the activity of the vocal cords are damaged intentionally or accidentally.

Thyroid cancers and lung tumors can also lead to the appearance of paralysis vocal cords are two flexible vocal strips . The strips of muscle that are placed at the entrance to the windpipe. In most of the cases of vocal cord paralysis, only one of two vocal cords is paralyzed. If the vocal cord is paralyzed in the closed position, is reduced air into the lungs. If paralyzed in the open position, the voice may be wheezing, hoarse or depending on the weak position.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Treatment of vocal cord paralysis depends on the cause, the severity of symptoms and the time from the onset of symptoms. Treatment may include voice therapy, bulk injections, surgery or a combination of treatments. In some instances, a person may get better without surgical treatment. For this reason, the doctor may delay permanent surgery for six months to a year from the beginning of your vocal cord paralysis.

Bulk injections using collagen-like substances are often done within the first month of voice loss, however. During the waiting period for surgery, the doctor may suggest voice therapy to help keep from using the voice improperly while the nerves heal. ...