Vocal cords are the delicate, muscular structures that surround your vocal tract. There are two vocal cords, the vocal folds and the vocal tract, which connect them.
The vocal folds are the small, slender folds that line the vocal tract and help produce a deep, clear tone.
The vocal tract is the long, slender tissue that connects the folds and transports air from the vocal folds to the rest of the vocal tract.
Vocal cords are the thin, flexible muscles that control the flow of air from each voice fold toward the throat.
Vocal cords can shrink in size and grow out of control. Some people have a very small vocal cord, and others have a large, oversized vocal cord that doesn’t function as well.
What causes a small vocal cord?
People who have a small vocal cord may have either an enlarged vocal folds or the opposite problem of a large, oversized vocal cord.
Vocal folds and vocal tract damage that causes a small vocal cord can either start in the neck or the head while an area of vocal tract damage called the vocal fold syndrome or sibilant hypertonia occurs near the lower jaw.
In sibilant hypertonia, the vocal folds swell and form a mass called sibilant cysts. Vocal cysts may also form in the lower voice box, where air passes under the vocal cords.
How is a small vocal cord diagnosed?
Your doctor may tell you that you have a small vocal cord by looking at your vocal folds and seeing if there’s any unusual shape or pattern in them.
If your doctor suspects that you have a small vocal cord, he or she will do a vocal fold examination in which an assistant pulls the folds back up to examine your vocal cords.
If your doctor suspects that you have an enlarged vocal fold, the doctor may also do a vocal fold ultrasonography with an external sound source or ultrasound to see if you have any abnormally large vocal folds that are too large for the mouth. It may also be possible to look at your vocal cords using a tracheotomy and see if your cords are smaller than usual.
What do vocal cords look like after voice surgery?
After giving the patient a speech or reading therapy session, your dentist or voice therapist will ask you to say different words that you heard before you had your surgery. These words, which you may have heard in the past, may be new words you never heard before,
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