April 24, 2014

What are Some Common Causes of “Vocal Nodules”?

Chances are, if you do any of the following things you are slamming your vocal folds together and hurting them:

  • Yell
  • Speak often or in a loud voice
  • Cough or clear your throat often and hard
  • Use an unusual or tense voice during play or anger
  • Use a pitch that is too high or low

If you are a very tense, nervous person who is under a lot of pressure, the tension may focus in your neck, shoulders or laryngeal area, resulting in vocal fold injury.

When you first begin to abuse your vocal folds with these behaviors, they thicken and become red. If the vocal abuse continues, the thickening near the middle fold can develop into a blister or nodule.

Vocal Nodule During Inhalation

In severe cases, a nodule can form on both folds. The illustration above shows how vocal nodules look when the folds are open as you inhale.

Vocal Nodule During Voicing

This shows how one vocal nodule slams against the other nodule during voicing.