Common Conditions of the Vocal Folds

 Vocal Folds pic

Vocal Folds

With more than 30 years of experience as an otolaryngologist, Dr. Angelo Consiglio serves the ear, nose, and throat needs of patients throughout Jackson County, Florida. Angelo Consiglio, MD, maintains a strong presence in his professional community and has presented on disorders of the vocal folds as they relate to larynx anatomy and physiology.

Also known as the vocal cords, the vocal folds constitute two distinct smooth muscle tissue bands contained within the voice box, or larynx. Situated within the neck at the top of the windpipe (trachea) the cords vibrate air that is passed upward from the lungs and provide resonance. This resonance is determined by the specific configurations of the throat, nose, and mouth.

Common causes of vocal cord disorder include laryngitis, an inflammation due to heartburn, infection, or excessive use of the voice. Another issue that particularly affects professional singers involves vocal nodules, which develop as a pair on the vocal cord areas that can be strained as they come together and vibrate. The end result is a voice that is low, hoarse, and breathy.

Another relatively common issue is vocal cord paralysis, in which one or both of the cords is unable to open or close as required. Related to a variety of underlying conditions, from stroke to chest or neck injury, this condition may make it difficult to cough and swallow, and allow unwanted foods and liquids into the windpipe and lungs.