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Question:

Cause of Change in Voice Quality

Dear Ask The Doctor:
Hi, I have had a problem getting my voice back to its normal deep state for about 7-8 months now. It almost sounds like its constricted or something, it also seems to tire and start to ache fairly easily. The only time is seems to go back to relative normality is when i binge drink the night before my vocal cords go back to the normal low voice. i also seem to have to always be gargling mucus in my throat to clear it all the time. There is also a painless almost scab like feeling right by my adams apple (of course on the inside of my throat somewhere). What could this be? Im desperate to get this fixed! its affecting my whole social life and it sucks! what are some treatments?


Answer:

Most likely, you have developed a vocal cord mass. This mass could be a polyp, nodule or cyst. None of these masses are cancer. A polyp is a small overgrowth of normal tissue while a cyst is collection of fluid sealed off by a thin wall.  To confirm the diagnosis you will need to do a direct laryngoscopy. This involves a doctor using a special instrument to look directly at the vocal cords.
These masses are most often treated without surgery. Voice therapy, hydration and avoidance of abuse are sometimes all that is required to correct the problem. If this doesn’t work then a surgical option is considered.  See your ENT specialist to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options.


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