Vocal cord nodules are small, benign (noncancerous) growths on your vocal cords. Usually, vocal nodules are caused by repeated overuse and abuse of vocal cords.

Vocal Nodules: What You Need to Know

You can take steps to avoid developing vocal nodules. Try to avoid frequent yelling, smoking or otherwise abusing your vocal chords. In addition, it's important to manage any conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and hypothyroidism, since they can also lead to nodule formation.

The University of Vermont Medical Center doctors use a collaborative approach to treat vocal nodules. Your team may include a number of different specialists working together to manage your care.

We use the most sophisticated technology available for diagnosing and treating vocal nodules, including endoscopy, surgery and behavioral intervention.

Personalized Care
The UVM Medical Center doctors tailor a course of treatment specifically for you. Your treatment will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the vocal nodules and your age.

Experience, Trusted Expertise
At The UVM Medical Center, our specialists have years of experience diagnosing and treating vocal nodules. You can feel confident knowing you have placed your care in experienced and skilled hands.

What are Vocal Nodules?

Your vocal cords need care and attention, just like any other part of your body. With repeated abuse and misuse of your vocal cords-caused by yelling, loud singing or smoking-your vocal cords develop swollen areas. They eventually harden as they continue to develop. This results in a number of symptoms, including:

  • Hoarseness or a rough voice
  • Feeling as if there is a lump in your throat
  • Pain that extends from ear to ear

People with jobs that require a loud voice and frequent yelling, such as coaching or cheerleading, may be more at risk for developing nodules. For unknown reasons, women between the ages of 20-50 are more at risk for developing nodules.

Other risk factors include:

  • Long-term cigarette smoking
  • Having GERD
  • Having hypothyroidism
  • Allergies
  • Drinking a lot of caffeine and alcohol, which can dry out the vocal cords

Diagnosis and Treatment: Vocal Nodules

If you have a hoarse voice for more than a few weeks-and especially if you have any of the risk factors for vocal nodules-make an appointment with your doctor. Our specialists perform a thorough examination to diagnose vocal nodules.

Then, we can create a personalized treatment plan for you. Treatment options include medication, surgery or behavioral therapy.

Learn more about vocal nodules diagnosis and treatment.

Find a doctor or specialist at The UVM Medical Center or call us at 802-847-4535.