Vocal fold nodules
A vocal fold nodule is a lump of tissue which grows on the vocal cord meaning the folds cannot come together and close properly. This affects a person’s ability to produce voice effectively. An individual may find it painful to produce voice, have a hoarse voice quality, and have less of a range in their use of pitch and volume. Nodules always appear bilaterally (opposite each other) and are almost always due to stress on the voice. Children may be susceptible to nodules due to the way in which they use their voice.
What is a vocal fold nodule?
A vocal fold nodule is a growth on the vocal cord caused by too much stress on the cords. This is known as vocal abuse. The longer a nodule is left the worse it will become. It will grow larger and over time become harder. Nodules always appear bilaterally, this means there will always be two nodules one on each fold. Children who overuse their voice may be more susceptible to nodules and may develop them over a period of time.
The speech and language therapist will create an individualised voice programme for your child, which will include advice, support and techniques on how to manage their vocal folds nodules.
Speech and language therapy assessments for vocal fold nodules
An initial assessment will be carried out by one of our speech and language therapists. This will highlight any worries and difficulties concerning the children's voice and communication. An initial assessment will also provide a chance for you to share any concerns you may have, and allow you to discuss what you would like to work on and improve.
A detailed case history will be taken, this will discuss family history, medical history and your child's voice use in different environments. This will help the speech therapist understand what may have caused the vocal fold nodules and can help tailor the assessment and therapy to their needs.
To assess the size and severity of the vocal fold nodules, the speech therapist will engage in several games and activities appropriate to the child to listen to the quality of their voice. It may also be necessary to complete a camera scan in order to see the nodules.
Yours and your child's goals and needs will also be discussed in the initial assessment in order to tailor the therapy specific to these goals and needs.
Speech and language therapy treatment for vocal fold nodules
Speech and language therapy can improve the vocal quality, decrease the size of the nodules and help prevent the nodules from returning.
Suitable therapy for children with vocal fold nodules include:
- Advice, training and strategies to parents, professionals and siblings
- Vocal hygiene techniques
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
Benefits of speech and language therapy
Speech and language therapy can be of great benefit for children with vocal fold nodules, as it can reduce the size of the nodules and improve their quality and future use of voice. Benefits of speech and language therapy for vocal fold nodules include:
- Increased intelligibility
- Reduced levels of frustration
- Increased levels of self-esteem and confidence
- Increased activity and participation
- Better quality of life
- Improved vocal quality
Our speech and language therapists can provide vocal hygiene therapy as well as voice exercises that can help your child. This can increase their participation in activities in school that requires speech.
Conditions associated with vocal fold nodules
Vocal fold nodules may cause dysphonia. Dysphonia is any change to an individual's vocal quality, which can include partial loss of voice. Dysphonia can be caused by Voice disorders. It may also be caused by poor vocal hygiene, this may be from shouting or not drinking enough water.
Vocal fold nodules occurs when there are lumps of tissue along the vocal cords. Our speech therapists can assess and treat any voice difficulties, including vocal fold nodules. This can have many benefits for your child, including improved vocal quality and self-esteem.
What to do next:
Our speech and language therapists will provide a comprehensive assessment and ongoing therapy for vocal fold nodules. If you think that your child has vocal fold nodules or your child has been diagnosed with dysphonia please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 088 2298.