Pediatric Vocal Cord Nodules (Singer’s Nodules)

Vocal cord nodules (also called singer’s nodules) are noncancerous, callous-like lesions that form on the vocal cords as a result of vocal abuse. They change the way the voice sounds.


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What are Pediatric Vocal Cord Nodules (Singer’s Nodules)?

Sounds are produced when air pushed up from the lungs passes through the vocal cords, which are a V-shaped band of muscle located in the larynx (voice box). When the voice is overused, the vocal cords (also called vocal folds) can become swollen. With repeated vocal abuse, the swollen spots can’t heal and can turn into callouses or nodules.

Vocal cord nodules usually develop at the midpoint of the vocal folds and face each other. They prevent vocal cords from vibrating properly, which changes your child’s voice, making it sound hoarse, scratchy or strained.

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Vocal Cord Nodules (Singer’s Nodules)?

  • Breaks in the voice
  • Coughing and throat clearing
  • Difficulty changing pitch
  • Difficulty singing/holding notes
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarse (harsh, raspy or strained) voice
  • Neck/throat pain
  • Scratchy voice
  • Sensation of a "lump" in the throat
  • Shooting pain from ear to ear
  • Straining neck or shoulder muscles while speaking

What are the causes of Pediatric Vocal Cord Nodules (Singer’s Nodules)?

Misuse or overuse of the voice due to the following conditions or activities can lead to vocal cord nodules:

  • Allergies
  • Cheering
  • Dehydration/throat dryness
  • Emotional outbursts like yelling or crying
  • Excessive throat clearing or coughing
  • Singing
  • Speaking in a strained voice
  • Using excessively loud sounds or voice

Pediatric Vocal Cord Nodules (Singer’s Nodules) Doctors and Providers