Vocal cord paralysis develops when the nerve impulses to the larynx (voice box) are disrupted, resulting in breathing, speaking and swallowing difficulties.
- Change in voice quality
- Vocal fatigue and discomfort
- Unexplained hoarseness
- Diminished ability to control pitch or volume
- Difficulty swallowing
Your vocal cords are vital structures that do more than produce your voice.
They also protect your airway by preventing food and drink from entering your windpipe.
What Causes Vocal Cord Paralysis?
Damage during surgery or trauma to the neck or chest can injure your voice box and the nerves that interact with your vocal cords.
Malignant and benign tumors can develop around the larynx and cause vocal cord paralysis.
A stroke interrupts the normal blood flow to your brain. This can damage the area that sends messages to your voice box.
Lyme disease, Epstein-Barr and herpes are a few of the viral infections that can damage the nerves in the larynx.
Multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease are associated with vocal cord paralysis.
How is Vocal Cord Paralysis Diagnosed?
Vocal cord paralysis can be diagnosed during a visit to your SFENTA™ ear, nose and throat specialist. During the appointment, your Miami otolaryngologist will perform a laryngoscopy, which allows him to view your vocal cords with a mirror or a thin, flexible tube. From there, blood tests and imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, may be ordered to identify the underlying cause of the condition.