WHAT ARE VOCAL POLYPS?
Polyps, similar to vocal nodules, are growths that develop on the vocal folds due to extensive vocal abuse, resulting in bleeding within the folds. This leads to a soft blister on either one or both of the vocal folds. Polyps can grow over time, or from one incident of severe vocal abuse.
The presence of polyps causes one’s vocal quality to present as breathy and hoarse. One may experience a shooting pain from ear to ear, a ‘lump in the throat’ sensation, neck pain, decreased pitch range, and voice and body fatigue. One might also experience diplophonia. Diplophonia is when two different pitches are heard simultaneously, due to the healthy fold vibrating at a different rate than the fold with the polyp. Adults are more susceptible to polyps than children, who are more prone to vocal nodules.
NATURAL COURSE OF CONDITION
Vocal polyps may disappear with rest and changes in vocal habits. However, they may also persist with time if they are not treated.
Polyps are treated by vocal therapy, provided by a speech therapist.
OUR APPROACH AT NORTH SHORE PEDIATRIC THERAPY
At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, the goal of vocal therapy is to help one produce a voice of the best possible pitch, loudness, and quality in relation to the individual’s age, gender, and culture. An environmental and behavioral approach is used to treat vocal polyps. The client will be taught how to change their vocal environment and increase their vocal hygiene. Behavior strategies are taught to modify vocal symptoms, such as increasing respiratory support, softening hard glottal attacks, and relaxing muscles.