Throat polyps often refer to the vocal cord polyps, which appear on either one or both of the vocal cords. In most cases these polyps are not cancerous, they do although have some uncomfortable symptoms, such as loss of your voice. Read on to know the treatments of this discomfort.
Symptoms of Throat Polyps
Throat polyps are benign growths that can present on either one or both of the vocal cords, and they look like either a nodule, with swelling or a bump, a lesion, which may look similar to a blister, or a stalk-like growth. There are a variety of different signs and symptoms of both throat polyps, including:
- A sensation of having a lump in the throat
- A scratchy, hoarse, breathy and/or rough voice
- Decreased pitch range
- Neck pain
- Fatigue of the voice and body
- A shooting pain from ear to ear
Causes of Throat Polyps
The formation of polyps in your throat can be caused by different things, such as a single traumatic event like screaming at a concert, GERD, hypothyroidism, long term cigarette smoking or vocal abuse. There are several different types of vocal abuse, such as the following:
- Drinking caffeine and alcohol, as it dries out your throat and your vocal cords
- Speaking loudly
- Tense muscles
- Women between twenty and fifty years old suffer from vocal nodules more often, for some unknown reason.
Remedies for Throat Polyps
Root Causes Treatments
There are medical, surgical and behavioral treatments that can be used to treat polyps. Surgery, which removes the polyp from the vocal cord, is only used when necessary, such as a polyp that can grow quite large or if it has been in place for a long time and surgery is rarely used on children.
An SLP can also provide the valuable resources of behavioral therapy and voice therapy. There are several different focuses of voice therapy, including the following:
- To reduce and/or stop vocal abusive behaviors
- Teaching good vocal hygiene
- Learn to adjust the pitch, loudness and breath support
- Stress reduction techniques
- Relaxation exercises
Depending on the situation the treatment can involve a speech therapist, a modification of your voice habits and/or resting the voice, which involves little or no speaking for a few weeks.
To reduce impact on your vocal cords, treatments for thyroid problems, GERD and allergies may be necessary. It is also sometimes required to administer medical intervention to help stop smoking or even to control stress. In some cases an inhaled steroid spray can be used for treatment.
There are some cases, in which the physician may have to surgically remove the polyp(s) and/or perform a biopsy. A biopsy is done to ensure there is no cancer present. The surgical procedure to remove the polyp(s) can be performed during a laryngoscopy, in which a metal tube is inserted through the mouth into the throat; there is a light on the end of the tube as well. The physician then threads a small, but sharp cut-shaped punch through to clip off the polyp(s). Once the polyp(s) is removed you should follow up with voice therapy.