Unexpected Symptoms of Vocal Cord Paralysis


Unexpected Symptoms of Vocal Cord Paralysis

Posted in: Voice News | March 2, 2012
Unexpected Symptoms of Vocal Cord Paralysis

Damage to the vocal cords can halt a singing career or keep an individual from communicating properly with friends and family. But beyond that? A serious condition known as vocal cord paralysis can prevent a person from breathing. When the vocal cords, larynx and nervous system don’t properly support one another, the results can be serious, if not treated properly.

Vocal cord paralysis results when the larynx, or voice box, doesn’t receive proper nerve impulses. The vocal cord muscles become paralyzed, preventing speech. But since the vocal cords also help keep the trachea, or windpipe, clear from saliva and food, choking can result. In this type of paralysis, one or both sides of the vocal cords can be affected.

The condition has numerous causes, including the following:

  • Inflammation
  • Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Neck and chest injuries
  • Vocal cord injuries from unrelated surgery

Women are more likely to develop vocal cord paralysis than men, but only slightly so. As for treatment, though some patients might recover without medical help, others benefit from voice therapy or surgery.

Symptoms of vocal cord paralysis include:

  • Difficulty speaking loudly
  • Hoarseness
  • Limited range of voice
  • Choking while eating
  • Pneumonia or pneumonia-like symptoms from food and liquid entering the lungs during meals

If you’re experiencing vocal cord paralysis or any other voice problem, feel free to contact us anytime. We’ll be happy to consult with you – and to help you work back to health.