Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What are nodules?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat are nodules?


My voice has been acting funny, cracking and what not and my throat kind of hurts. I'm a singer in a cover band on the weekends and need my voice to be normal. A friend said I could have nodules on my vocal chords. What are nodules? Is this what's happening?


It is not possible to establish a diagnosis online so I suggest an in-person visit with a physician who can examine you and run tests if warranted. However, I can provide you medical information to your question. Vocal cord nodules are benign or noncancerous growths on both vocal cords that are caused by repeated abuse of the vocal cords that result in soft, swollen spots on each vocal cord over time. Eventually, these spots develop into harder callous-like growths called nodules which will become larger if the longer the vocal abuse continues. Examples of such voice abuse practices include yelling and coughing, or singing in your case. People in loud entertainment business like yourself are more susceptible to developing vocal cord nodules. Typical symptoms include, but not limited to, hoarseness, breathiness, a "rough" voice, a "scratchy" voice, frequent vocal breaks, reduced vocal range, shooting pain from ear to ear, a "lump in the throat" sensation, neck pain, voice and body fatigue. If you have experienced a hoarse voice for more than 2 to 3 weeks, I would recommend a visit with a primary care doctor who will give you a thorough voice evaluation and may refer you to an otolaryngologist for further work-up and treatments. I hope you find the information helpful. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.