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Botox For Your Voice? One Unique Treatment + Understanding Vocal Nodules
A singer's worst nightmare, vocal nodules can become a serious problem for a professional vocalist and even those who work in professions that require frequent speaking or communication. Once detected however, these nodules are treatable.
What is a vocal nodule?
A vocal cord nodule is a benign mass of tissue that grows on the vocal folds resulting from trauma or extended periods of rest.
While singing or speaking, your vocal chords vibrate and collide hundreds of times per second, which can cause stress or trauma on the lining outside of the vocal folds. The constant vibration, speaking or singing incorrectly, yelling, coughing, or being in a smokey, loud or dry environment can cause the lining to swell and produce nodules.
A vocal cord nodule or "singer's nodule" reduces the vocal folds' ability to vibrate effectively and can cause permanent damage. If you feel discomfort in your vocal chords (hoarseness or pain) for more than two weeks, seek medical attention from a specialist.
So, how do you know if you are developing or have already developed a vocal nodule?
Sore throat, particularly after a performance or day of speaking
Hoarseness or a scratchy voice
Difficulty singing or speaking at a low volume (whispering or singing quietly)
Difficulty holding your vocal pitch
Difficulty reaching your full range
Decreased color or vibrancy of tone
Discomfort, a feeling of tightness, or as if there is a lump in your throat
If you think you have vocal nodules, contact the Colorado Voice Clinic. ColoradoVoiceClinic.com
When the vocal folds collide violently, swelling can develop around the site of the collision. If you think you have vocal nodules, contact the Colorado Voice Clinic. ColoradoVoiceClinic.com
Soft vs Hard Nodules
A singer or speaker can cause trauma to their vocal chords after a single performance, a long night out, or even a day spent in a extremely dry or loud environment. The stress or swelling of the vocal chord lining will typically be repaired after a few hours or several days rest (depending on the damage), however, if repeated frequently or over a long period of time, the swelling can become severe enough to require treatment.
These less severe, single episode swellings are what results in soft nodules. Soft nodules are often easily treated with vocal rest, but reoccurring soft nodules and swelling of this kind can cause further damage and begin to produce fibrous scar tissue in the vocal folds. Scarring will cause the traumatized area to become increasingly stiffer, making it more difficult for your vocal chords to vibrate effectively. This is when a singer or speaker can develop hard nodules, which can often require surgery or serious therapy to repair.
One approach to treating singer's nodules is Botox. Yes--Botox. Watch (copy and paste into your browser) below as Dr. Dave Opperman of the Colorado Voice Clinic in Denver, Colorado explains:
For more information on vocal health, visit the ColoradoVoiceClinic.com.
Fri, Sep 5, 2014 @ 4:49 AM MDT
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