Pediatric Vocal Cord Nodules (Singer’s Nodules)

Pediatric Vocal Cord Nodules (Singer’s Nodules)

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Summary

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.

Expanded Overview

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.

Causes

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

Symptoms

Symptoms that your child has vocal cord nodules include:

  • 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

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