Vocal cord paralysis is weakness in one or both the vocal cords. Normally, the vocal folds come apart to let air into the lungs and then come together tightly when we speak, cough, or swallow. In vocal cord paralysis, you may have trouble coughing, swallowing, or sneezing, which normally helps to remove mucus waste from your voice box (larynx). The remaining mucus can cause viral or bacterial infections and throat discomfort.
There are many different causes of vocal cord paralysis, including:
- Neck or chest surgery
- Recent intubation with a breathing tube
- Cancer (brain, lung, or thyroid)
- Viral infection
In some cases, however, the cause of vocal cord paralysis is unknown. Unless clearly related to a cause, such as surgery or trauma, your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist may recommend a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to rule out a tumor that may be causing the paralysis.
Why Choose UHealth?
Ranked No. 9 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The ranking reflects the team’s dedication to excellence in research patient care and outcomes. Surgeons, audiologists, biomedical engineers, speech pathologists, researchers, and psychologists collaborate with many research programs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to deliver the best possible multidisciplinary care to pediatric and adult ear, nose, and throat patients.
Customized treatment from a multidisciplinary team. We work with you to understand your condition and your vocal goals so we can craft a customized treatment plan that makes the most sense for you. When therapy is needed, we develop a personalized therapy program based on your specific situation and tailored to your needs and goals. Our multidisciplinary team works alongside you for the long term to ensure that you receive comprehensive treatment and get your voice back.
World-class care in an academic health system. We are recognized throughout South Florida and the world as a leader in treating conditions and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. Backed by one of the nation’s top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide you with superior, personalized care and the best outcomes.