Content is medically reviewed by:
Shruti Bangera, Masters In Neurological Physiotherapy, Senior Physiotherapist & SME, Portea
Vocal cord paralysis is a medical condition that occurs when neural impulses are unable to travel through to your voice box, which is responsible for producing your voice.
The muscles get paralysed this way and prevent you from swallowing food and ingesting saliva through the windpipe. Vocal cord paralysis causes are commonly nerve damage stemming from different cancers, viral infections, and surgery. Common treatment methods for vocal cord palsy are surgery and voice therapy.
Your vocal cords resembled two muscle tissues and are located close to the entrance of the windpipe (trachea). Vocal cord paralysis makes one of these muscles unable to move and in rare cases, both.
This leads to vocal cord paralysis symptoms like difficulty breathing, swallowing and speaking. It’s not uncommon to experience a loss of vocal pitch, hoarse breathing, and experience a lack of gag reflex when you are diagnosed with this medical condition.
There are mainly two types of vocal cord paralysis:
Although doctors don’t know the specific reasons behind vocal cord paralysis, some of the known possible vocal cord paralysis causes in patients are:
Your doctor may initially ask you how long you’ve been facing problems with speech and test your voice and pitch to check speaking. If he suspects the vocal folds are damaged, he may order the following vocal cord paralysis diagnosis tests:
Vocal cord paralysis treatment will be determined by your doctor based on your medical condition and vocal cord paralysis diagnostic test. These are the following treatment options available for vocal cord paralysis:
A physiotherapist will begin working with you on different vocal cord paralysis exercises which target your speech and weak vocal folds. Speech therapy is very effective for partial vocal cord paralysis as the weak laryngeal muscles are strengthened through various exercises which opens up the breathing as well.
Surgery is recommended for those who see no improvement despite doing the prescribed speech therapy exercises. There are different types of surgery based on the degree and extent of vocal cord paralysis:
A part of vocal cord paralysis treatment involves regular physiotherapy exercises. It involves performing gentle exercises that don’t stress your vocal cords but instead work on them in a gradual and progressive manner.
Care must be taken when performing some of these exercises and improve breathing, which is where our team of physiotherapists come in. Speech therapy for vocal cord paralysis will speed up the recovery process by improving airflow and blood circulation to the vocal folds, and home remedies may be recommended to improve your current condition.
Vocal cord paralysis exercises are no cakewalk for those who are new to it. If you are afflicted by vocal cord paralysis and need physiotherapy assistance, our physiotherapy services will come to your aid.
Our physiotherapists visit your home and assess your medical condition. Based on their diagnosis, you will be prescribed the necessary vocal cord paralysis treatment at home.
The physiotherapist will meet you every day and teach you how to perform them. Corrections will be demonstrated whenever you do them wrong, and after your cure for the vocal cord, paralysis progress is charted, based on its results you may be recommended to go for surgery.
A vocal cord paralysis is not the end of life, and in fact, you can continue to enjoy living a fully functional life after surgery. If you have mild vocal cord paralysis, you may not be able to sing or do voice-based tasks that well but with a bit of practice and regular physiotherapy exercises, your voice box will be back on its feet.
Dietary changes may be recommended based on the results of your surgery, and you will be expected to adhere to them.
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Dr. Hari Prasad M – MPT – 4 years Experience.
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