Complaints in the vocal cords can occur due to many reasons. Many factors can cause temporary or permanent paralysis of the vocal cords, from using the voice in bad and unsuitable conditions, especially for a long time and at high tones, to tumors that occur in the vicinity of the nerves in the head region and neck. Complaints related to vocal cord paralysis, such as hoarseness and coughing while swallowing, can be treated with “voice surgery”. Ear Nose Throat and Head and Neck Surgery Specialist Prof. Dr. Mustafa Asım Şafak gave information about vocal cord diseases and treatment methods and suggestions to protect the vocal cords.
The vocal cords are in a structure open to trauma
The vocal cords are located in the larynx, from the right and left, very thin They are formations that contain soft tissue and muscle fibers covered with skin. There are very long-course nerve structures that manage the functions of the larynx and vocal cords. These nerve structures arise from the brain stem, go down the neck to the inside of the thorax, and go around the great vessels, and reach the larynx by going up in the neck again. Nerves are open to many traumas during this long journey.
The source of vocal cord damage is due to many reasons
Various diseases affecting the brain stem or head region, tumors near the nerve in the neck, many diseases inside the rib cage, different diseases related to the nerve itself Temporary or permanent paralysis of the vocal cords may occur. Using the sound in bad and unsuitable conditions, especially for long periods of time and at high tones, can also cause damage. One of the reasons for the problems seen in the vocal cords is the traumas due to thyroid surgery since they are adjacent to the thyroid glands.
Voice cord surgery comes to the fore
Paralysis of vocal cords can be rehabilitated by vocal surgery technique. In the problems related to vocal cord paralysis, surgical interventions are performed to partially correct the complaint, rather than making the vocal cord functional again. For example; The vocal cord, which remains fixed on the side as a result of vocal cord paralysis and cannot move towards the midline during vocalization or swallowing, can be fixed in the midline. If the problem is a disease that causes both vocal cords to remain paralyzed in the midline, there is a problem of shortness of breath and the event prevents hoarseness. In this case, surgical interventions are required by pulling one of the vocal cords to the side and keeping it stable on the side. Thus, shortness of breath is corrected, but some hoarseness occurs along with it.
Talking by shouting damages the voice
Talking and shouting as a habit can cause many different complaints such as stomach-larynx reflux, irritation or infections of the vocal cords, laryngeal cancers, deterioration in vocal character. leads to An ENT specialist should be consulted for any voice problem that lasts longer than a week. In cases of infection, together with hoarseness, more important complaints such as shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing and high fever can be seen.
Surgical intervention for thin or deep voice
The vocal cords have functions such as elongating and thinning or shortening and thickening to adjust the thin or thickness of the voice. There may be boys who reach puberty and whose voice does not become deep, as well as women who find their voices deep. In this case, patients may want their voice to be thicker or thinner. In this case, surgical interventions can be performed to produce a thin or thick sound. To vocal cord surgery; It is used for problems such as polyp or cyst formation in the vocal cords, loosening of the vocal cords due to aging, swelling due to chronic edema, clefts or cancers in the vocal cords.
The shape of the larynx skeleton can be changed
Many different surgical techniques are used in voice surgery, depending on the definition of the disease. Among these, injections of different materials around the vocal cords, removal of some larynx cartilages, replacement of some cartilages with various suturing techniques, differentiation of the shape and position of the larynx skeleton, and the use of some prostheses may be required for these purposes. Rarely, techniques such as repairing nerve fibers and transferring roots formed from nerve and muscle junctions to some muscles in the larynx can be applied.
Some precautions can be taken to prevent damage to the vocal cords that requires long-term treatment or that may become permanent. For this, correct use of voice and some changes in daily life habits are recommended.
10 simple ways to protect your vocal cords
1. Take care to drink enough fluids.
2. Cold and acidic beverages should be consumed as little as possible.
3. Smoky and dusty environments should be avoided.
4. Tobacco products should not be used.
5. Nasal cleansing should not be done as much as possible.
6. If it is necessary to talk for a long time, liquid should be consumed to wet the throat from time to time.
7. Talking loudly and shouting should be avoided.
8. To sing, vocal training must be taken.
9. Attention should be paid to the proper use of the larynx and diaphragm.
10. Complaints about sound should not be ignored, a specialist should be consulted before time passes.