The Doctors: Check Your Voicemail for Vocal Cord Paralysis


The Doctors: Diagnosing Problems from a Voicemail

Believe it or not, how you sound on a voicemail can be a sign of your changing health. Otolaryngologist Dr. Brian Weeks joined The Doctors with some warning signs to watch out for.

Dr. Travis Stork said that it’s amazing that something as simple as your voice can clue you into problems that are going on. The Doctors played several voicemails for Dr. Weeks to listen to and diagnose.


The Doctors: Vocal Polyps from Overuse

The first voicemail showcased a lady with a cracked sounding voice. Dr. Weeks said she could be suffering from a vocal polyp, which is typically related to overuse. Polyp symptoms include hoarseness, cough, trouble swallowing and clearing of the throat.

The Doctors: Check Your Voicemail for Vocal Cord Paralysis

How you sound on a voicemail can clue doctors in to underlying vocal problems you might be experiencing, such as vocal cord paralysis.

Most polyp problems are healed with rest, and surgery is only approached after this has failed. Polyp surgery involves the use of microlaryngeal techniques and tools to remove the polyp.


The Doctors: Vocal Cord Paralysis

The person in the second voicemail sounded almost out of breath. The diagnosis was Vocal Cord Paralysis, with symptoms like difficulty swallowing, difficulty speaking and hoarseness. The problem is that a person’s vocal cords are being inefficient and not moving over, and people are constantly breathing to get their words out.

Dr. Weeks’ patient Ali joined him on stage. 15 months ago Ali had neck surgery done and during the surgery he sustained damage to his vocal cords. Ali said that over the last year, things have improved with the help of Dr. Weeks.

The Doctors: Endoscopy of Vocal Cords

Dr. Weeks showed Ali’s vocal cords through an endoscope, and you could see that his right vocal cord was not moving over. Most people choose to have surgery or different shot therapy to fix the problem, but Ali did not want to heal his vocal cords acutely.


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