Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery
Vocal Fold Paralysis
Vocal fold paralysis occurs when one or both of the vocal folds are not swinging open and closed, or are too floppy. It can happen because of a throat or neck injury, certain surgical procedures or, sometimes, a virus.
- Weak, breathy voice
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty swallowing liquids, solids, and pills
- Vocal fatigue
- A decrease in vocal stamina
Diagnosis and Treatment
Treatment for vocal fold paralysis and paresis depends on a variety of factors, including degree of voice loss, vocal demands, presence of aspiration, and airway and swallowing symptoms. There is potential for vocal fold motion recovery, and treatment options are tailored according to prognosis for recovery, symptoms, and individual voice needs. Treatments of vocal fold paralysis and paresis are designed to enable the working vocal fold to better contact the weak side.
Meet Our Team
We bring together physicians, speech-language pathologists, and other healthcare professionals to provide treatment to patients suffering from voice and throat disorders. Collectively, we are among the world’s most experienced – and most successful – laryngology, voice, and speech teams.
Did you know?
Once the source of the irritation is eliminated, the cough sometimes remains. This is called “irritable larynx” syndrome.
Coughing actually serves a useful purpose: it brings up mucus and foreign material from your airways that can irritate your lungs.