Vocal Cord Nodules

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by leighbball, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Well, the ear, nose, and throat doctor used a camera to examine my nose and throat and found out I have vocal cord nodules. They are essentially callouses on my vocal cords. Next time I go back, he will use another camera to take pictures of them.

    Has anyone ever had this before? I know I talk loudly and this can affect them. I've been trying to be very good since I found out about them, but then there was a fight in my room and I yelled and rushed over the stop it. I felt something in my voice start to ache and I started hoping I didn't do any more damage:(
     
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  3. moonbeamsinajar

    moonbeamsinajar Habitué

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    My brother had nodules on his vocal chords back in the early 70's. They had to be removed 3 times, but since then they never came back. His only symptom was hoarseness that would not go away. I am sure the treatment for them has changed since he had his done about 35 years ago. Back then they yanked them off with forcepts.
    I hope the doctors can help you to feel better soon!
     
  4. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I'm hoping surgery isn't needed, but the medicines he put me on have done nothing...and as a teacher, its nearly impossible to rest my voice. :(
     
  5. Carmen13

    Carmen13 Groupie

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    But you need to try... Your voice is your "instrument"!
    Take care!
     
  6. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    leighbball, sounds like you need to start wearing a whistle full time when you teach. You may also want to consult with a voice teacher.
     
  7. K5 music

    K5 music New Member

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    I'm a voice teacher, and I've studied vocal nodules in college. We even got to look at them when the doctor inserted the camera. This is my advice.

    Don't ignore them. I know it's difficult, but you really can't raise your voice or even talk in your "teacher voice." You are only making them worse. Right now, the only available treatment (besides vocal rest) is the surgery stated above where they cut off the nodules. This creates a lot of scar tissue and can have permanent adverse effects.

    The best thing you can do is catch it early and rest your voice as best as you can. If you start now, you'll need less time than if you let it get worse.

    Best of luck!
     
  8. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    I had a friend who had this and she was not allowed to talk for three months, even whispering (it is suppose to be worse than just talking)! The doctors told her that it was not from yelling but from raising and lowering your voice often, as teachers often do.

    Good luck!
     
  9. cMcD

    cMcD Groupie

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    I had a callous on my vocal chord once! However, mine was induced from heavy partying during my junior year in college. I would go out 3-4 nights a week and talk, sing, yell, etc. at the top of my lungs. I never learned to talk from my diaphragm. My doctor did tell me that whispering did make it worse. Anyway, I calmed down, only going out 1-2 times a week. And instead of screaming song lyrics I would lip synch. Ha! It just so happens I was taking my last required music class, so my singing was terrible. Which was nice because the teacher would give me good grades because she saw that I was trying very hard. Haha! I'm not trying to make light of your situation, this just reminds me of "that" time in my life. Junior year was my favorite year in college...

    Try to rest your voice. I've found that when I talk quietly my students listen extra hard to hear what I'm trying to say.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Music Doc

    Music Doc Habitué

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    Just to keep everyone correctly informed.....the correct term for the vocal mechanism is larynx (pronounced "lair-inks," NOT "Lar-nicks"). Vocal folds is a better term than vocal cords.....and please....it's NOT vocal CHORDS.

    The information you've received is pretty straight on.....don't ignore them...they won't just "go away"....vocal rest is good....stay hydrated, too. No smoking, cut down on any acids you take in. And DON'T whisper....that's worse than talking softly since it dries out the larynx.

    Just your local vocal awareness committee here.
     
  11. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Thanks for the advice everyone:) I'm actually taking off tomorrow for not feeling well in general, so I will give my voice a rest for at least a day...and I was good on the way home tonight...I didn't sing in the car! (I have a 45 min commute so it passes the time!)
     
  12. vickired

    vickired Guest

    May 11, 2011

    I am a Occupational Therapist and have had chronic laryngitis for about one year. The ENT found a nodule on my voice box and I had
    Surgery last Thursday and I was unable to talk for 5 days. My voice is very hoarse but it will take time to heal. It will get worse unless you have the surgery.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Peter had a nodule surgically removed from his vocal chords over February break.

    The surgery was outpatient, and took about an hour.

    And that's probably the worst realistic case scenario.
     
  14. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    May 12, 2011

    I had nodules surgically removed in 1985. When they developed again, I had vocal therapy and avoided surgery. They reminded me about things like speaking with the pitch that was best suited to my voice, not yelling over the vacuum cleaner and so forth, and being sure to talk softly but not whisper, which is really bad for your vocal chords. Best wishes to you!
     
  15. SallySue

    SallySue Guest

    Aug 20, 2013

    I am a recently retired teacher....35 years of teaching! Qhwn I first started having trouble with my voice, my district got me a wireless microphone system. I had a small power pack that would clip onto my belt or fit in a pocket...size of a cell phone and a small microphone that fit around my neck. There is a battery recharger and a a 3 foot tall thin speaker that I put off to one side. This helped tremendously. I NEVER had to raise my voice! I could use my regular voice and everyone could hear me. I could easily adjust the sound volume. The first thing I noticed is that I was less tired at the end of the day. It was a relief not to have to constantly be pushing air through my vocal cords. After a few days the students got used to it. Sometimes in small groups I would turn it off, but could easily turn it back on if I needed to alert a child in a center that he/she needed to get back on task. I think these systems cost about $500. I believe that the safety committee used safety funds to purchase several of these. My voice did get much better and I avoided surgery. Now that I am retired I am hoping my voice will continue to heal. (I think my husband wishes that my voice would just go away but that is not going to happen.) I could call the district and find out the name of the system if it helps. Also, I teach K and I think the system really helped the students hear the sounds better! Hope this helps!
     
  16. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Oh, I'm so sorry!! :( That would be so hard!

    This is exactly what I was going to suggest. My school has those in every room. But if that system is unattainable because it's pretty expensive, is there any way you could get just a regular microphone for whole class instruction? It might be awkward to use, but it could really save your voice!
     
  17. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Yes, we have those, too. Ours is called Redcat.

    My mom had the surgery when I was in high school. She couldn't talk for 3 days. Before, she sounded like a smoker (she wasn't). Afterwards, I couldn't recognize her voice at all. She sounded like a totally different person. Now, I would have no idea what her former voice sounds like now, though, as it's been so long with her new one!
     
  18. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    We were told when my son was a baby that he probably has nodules....he very rarely gets sore throats, doesn't complain of pain in his throat and has never 'lost his voice'. He has always had a 'whiskey and cigarette' sounding voice...no problems though....:D
    Feel better, Leigh!
     
  20. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I'll admit that this is exactly what I thought of as well... :blush:

    I honestly didn't realize that this was such a serious condition. Leigh, I really hope you're able to find a way to get better soon!!
     
  21. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    This is a really old thread (original post was from 2007!), so I'm guessing Leigh is doing okay... ;)
     

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