SpeechPathology.com Phone: 800-242-5183

New master brand. Same great company. Introducing continued! Read Our Story

TherapyTravelers Hello Traveler

Swollen Vocal Fold, Reflux, and Medications

Stephen Gorman, Ph.D,CCC-SLP

October 5, 2009



What could be causing swollen vocal cords and "redness" on left (only) anterior cord? I have had a nasal laryngeal scope which determined the condition at an ENT appointment. A CT and a swallowing test ordered by the ENT were both unremarkable - no tumor


Your question is an interesting one given your history of acid reflux. Typically, reflux irritation of the vocal folds occurs posteriorly, although an anterior inflammation is not out of the question, just less likely to happen. Further, if you were truly having reflux events that spill into the anterior larynx, I doubt it would be localized to just the anterior left vocal fold. With regard to the medications/supplements you take, it is possible that the combination of aspirin and fish oil may be sufficiently thinning your blood to result in micro-hemorrhages of the anterior left vocal fold to maintain the swelling and redness. These are merely speculative responses to your question given I have not seen the report of your exam, nor have I seen your vocal folds. I am not trying to make a diagnosis. You should have a videostroboscopic examination to get a closer, more detailed look at the larynx in general and then follow-up with your ENT physician with regard to this. I'm wondering too whether this is causing any hoarseness or throat discomfort.

Stephen Gorman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP has been practicing voice pathology since 1996 at both the Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis and Rehabilitation and the Professional Voice Center of Greater Cincinnati. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati in 2002.

Related Courses

Introduction to Tracheoesophageal Voice
Presented by Julie Bishop-Leone, M.A., CCC-SLP


Julie Bishop-Leone, M.A., CCC-SLP
Course: #6232 1 Hour
  'Course was very informative'   Read Reviews
This course is designed to give attendees the basic understanding of what tracheoesophageal (TE) voice restoration is and the role of the SLP in the rehabilitation process. Other topics to be reviewed are: determining who is a candidate, sizing the TE tract, the various types of TE voice prostheses and how they are placed, considerations for prosthesis selection, and how to initiate voice rehabilitation.

Trach Talk: Current Clinical Trends and Patient Perspectives
Presented by Kim Appel, MS, CCC-SLP, Meggin Nunamaker, MS


Kim Appel, MS, CCC-SLPMeggin Nunamaker, MS
Course: #6634 1 Hour
  'Great personal experience stories! This course covered a wide range of content'   Read Reviews
This course is designed for clinicians with varying levels of experience working with tracheostomy tubes. Indications for, and methodologies used to perform a tracheotomy, as well as applications for various trach styles, sizes, features, and communication options will be discussed. Best practices in assessment and treatment will be emphasized including documentation, subglottic suction, manometry, and upper airway auscultation. Unique perspectives and tips for practitioners will also be shared by a trach user.

Assessment of Speech Sound Disorders in Children with Cleft Palate &/or VPD
Presented by Angela Dixon, MA, CCC-SLP


Angela Dixon, MA, CCC-SLP
Course: #6723 1 Hour
  'Clarifies so much!'   Read Reviews
(This is the 1st course in a 4-part series, SSD in Children with Cleft Palate and/or VPD.) This course will review the primary components involved in assessing speech sound disorders in children with cleft palate and/or velopharyngeal dysfunction (VPD). Functional tools/techniques will be highlighted with the goal of determining when speech therapy is beneficial and when further medical referrals are necessary.

Therapy for the Child with Cleft Palate or Velopharyngeal Dysfunction
Presented by Lynn Marty Grames, MA, CCC-SLP


Lynn Marty Grames, MA, CCC-SLP
Course: #6734 1 Hour
  'The information shared will be useful for me but the presenter ran out of time'   Read Reviews
(This is the 3rd course in a 4-part series, SSD in Children with Cleft Palate and/or VPD.) This course will focus on speech therapy techniques for the child with articulation disorder related to cleft palate or velopharyngeal dysfunction. Practical therapy techniques that can be adapted for children aged 2 through the teen years are included.

Cleft Palate - What do I hear? What do I do?
Presented by Mary O'Gara, MA, CCC-SLP


Mary O'Gara, MA, CCC-SLP
Course: #6733 1 Hour
  'The video and sound examples were helpful'   Read Reviews
(This is the 4th course in a 4-part series, SSD in Children with Cleft Palate and/or VPD.) Case studies will be presented to discuss assessment and therapy techniques for individuals with cleft and craniofacial conditions. Audiovisual recordings will be provided to demonstrate speech resonance, airflow control and articulation problems in this population. Therapy goal setting will be discussed, with specific techniques for compensatory articulation strategies.