4 Signs Your Vocal Cords Are Damaged

Unrecognizable woman holds her throat

A terrible squeaking sound coming from you can mean that you’ve lost your voice, and that can be very annoying when your work involves speaking to clients or to your employees on a regular basis. While it happens to the best of us, even to professional speakers and singers, there comes a time when the loss of your voice can signal more permanent and serious damage.

When this happens and you live in Colorado, visit a voice clinic to determine the severity of the damage to your vocal cords. Of course, these voice clinics are also available in many key cities around the country. A simple visit can test your vocal cords and detect the seriousness of the damage done to them.

Persistent Hoarseness and Raspiness

If you have a sudden voice change such as hoarseness, raspiness, or breathiness, that does not always mean that your vocal cords have been compromised. Sometimes, this happens because of a cold or extended period of yelling or talking. Ever noticed how you lose your voice a day after partying in a club? That happens because you have exhausted your vocal cords the night before.

However, if the hoarseness persists for a very long time—around two weeks, for instance—you should seriously consider visiting a laryngologist because there could be a growth of polyps or cysts on the vocal cords.

Chronic Vocal Fatigue

Ever experienced your voice getting weak? That could be caused by vocal fatigue. This happens with professionals who use their voices for their jobs, such as actors, singers, politicians (during a campaign period), teachers, and call center agents. Voice therapists recommend that for every 90 minutes of voice use, there should be 10 minutes of rest. Your voice should be able to rest after an extended period of use. If you often find yourself losing your voice after singing or talking repeatedly throughout the day, your tissue might be damaged.

Throat Pain

It shouldn’t hurt to speak. However, if you often feel discomfort and pain when speaking, it might mean that the muscles that you use when you speak are strained and damaged. Try to relax your muscles when speaking and keep from shouting and speaking above your normal volume level. Voice therapy can help deal with this.

Loss of Normal Vocal Range

Man getting his throat checked by the doctor

If you notice that you cannot reach your normal vocal range, that might be a sign of damage to your vocal cords, too. Singers would normally go through this during the course of a series of concerts. You’ve all seen some of your favorite singers struggle to sing during a performance. That’s not because they were trying to be a diva. Usually, voice exhaustion can cause the loss of their vocal range.

Your vocal activities or lack thereof can damage your vocal cords. If you are constantly speaking, you need to practice some vocal exercises so as not to strain your muscles completely. It will also help if you take care of your health by avoiding smoking, shouting, acid reflux, and forcing your voice when you have a cold or bronchitis. All of these can lead to the damage of your vocal cords.

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