Deborah Aloba - Singing Teacher

Deborah Aloba - Singing Teacher

Voice Disorders Information – Vocal Nodules

Voice Disorders Information – Vocal Nodules

What are Vocal Nodules?

by Sara Harris (Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and Team member, The Voice Clinic, London)

Vocal nodules develop as the result of trauma to the vocal folds. When the vocal folds collide violently swelling can develop around the site of the collision. A single episode of trauma usually recovers over several days of voice rest, but unfortunately, these episodes are often repeated so the swelling becomes more persistent and requires treatment. These swellings are often described as “soft nodules”. If soft nodules are ignored and allowed to progress, the persistent damage may begin to produce fibrous scar tissue. This makes the affected area stiffer and therefore less able to vibrate effectively. These are often referred to as “hard nodules” and they are more difficult to treat as they do not resolve with voice therapy and require surgery to restore the voice.

Vocal nodules are often also called “Singer’s nodes” or “Singer’s nodules”. Laryngologists may use other terms synonymously as well so it is important to ask whether the diagnosis is one of vocal nodules or a different condition and to clarify the difference between the two. It is also important to ask your Laryngologist whether the nodules are soft or hard.

The image below shows normal vocal folds and those with nodules or other type of lesion. It is easy to see how the vocal nodules prevent the vocal folds from closing fully and how they could interfere with vocal fold vibration.

vocal-folds