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Vocal Cord Polyps

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What are vocal cord polyps?

A vocal polyp is a growth that develops on your vocal cords. Vocal cord polyps can occur on one or both vocal cords. They may be caused by overuse of your voice. Examples include singing, yelling, or frequent talking required by a job such as teaching. Hypothyroidism, allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease and smoking may also cause polyps. The most common symptom is a hoarse or husky voice.

How are vocal cord polyps diagnosed and treated?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and test your voice. Your provider may also examine your vocal cords using a tube that will be passed into your mouth or nose. This procedure is called a laryngoscopy. Your provider may also use a stroboscope (flashing light) to examine your vocal cords as they move.

How are vocal cord polyps treated?

Vocal cord polyps may be treated with voice rest and voice therapy. Voice therapy involves training to decrease the strain you put on your vocal cords. You may also need treatment for any conditions that are causing your polyps. Surgery may be done to remove the polyps.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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