Alternative Names: Vocal fold nodule, Singer's nodules, Screamer's nodules, Teacher's nodules
Vocal cord polyps and nodules are growths that appear on the vocal cords. The polyps are small, soft growths; nodules are small, hard, callus-like growths occurring in pairs.
Causes and Development
Vocal cord polyps
are caused by overuse of the voice or long-term exposure to chemical fumes, cigarette smoke or other irritants.
Vocal cord nodules are also caused by overuse.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of both vocal cord polyps
and nodules are similar: a hoarse, grating voice, a low-pitched voice, and/or a 'breathy' voice.
Treatment and Prevention
Use your voice only when necessary; try not to talk (or whisper) at all when symptoms are at their worst.
Some vocal cord polyps
will disappear on their own within a few weeks; most require surgery.
Vocal cord nodules can become permanent if nothing is done to reduce abuse of the vocal cords. They can be surgically removed, but may return. Proper voice therapy/training allows you to talk without straining your voice and can get rid of nodules within a few months.