Dr. Raman Abrol
Vocal Cord Paralysis
Today we will be talking about vocal cord paralysis.
What is vocal cord paralysis?
A specific number of patients come to us and complain about the sudden hoarseness in their voices. The voice is breathy. And after examining, we find out that one of the vocal cords is not moving. So the sound produced or the breathing is only by one working vocal cord. The vocal cord doesn’t touch each other. One move and the other stays still. And there is a gap between the two. This is why the patient experiences hoarseness or a breathy voice.
Vocal cord paralysis symptoms
Few patients also complain about aspiration. In this, the patient coughs with every liquid intake. It is locally called ‘hattu.’ These two are the cardinal symptom of this disease. It does not have a specific age group. But mostly it is seen in middle-aged
or old-aged people.
80-90% of the people who suffer from this are idiopathy. Idiopathy is a condition that arises spontaneously or for which the cause is unknown. For example, some people may experience vocal cord paralysis after recovering from some viral infection.
Vocal cord paralysis causes
The cause can be determined for 5-7% of the patients. To find the cause of this, the chest is examined for tumors, the neck, and the lymph nod for tumor. The brain and the skull are discussed as well. Because a lot of diseases originate from these parts of the body, most like tuberculosis and tumor. Every patient has to undergo an endoscopy, a CT scan, or an X-ray of the chest and brain MRI to rule out any serious problem.
Idiopathic vocal cord policy does not have a definite treatment.
Vocal cord paralysis treatment
The patient is given steroids or nerve tonic, and the patient is encouraged so that the vocal cord heals itself, or the working vocal cord compensates for the non-functioning one. These patients are put on speech therapy after 15-20 days or a month of waiting. In speech therapy, the patient practices cord attraction. They perform exercises that help bring the vocal cord closer again. The results of this speech therapy are good, but the patient loses the pitch of his voice. The aspiration also gradually decreases, which is the problem of the liquid going to the lungs, which causes coughing also to fall.
These patients’ conditions improve to a certain point. And the idiopathic people also overcome the situation and learn to speak again. Therefore, there are no dangerous complications to this disease.