What are the symptoms of benign vocal fold lesions?
The most common symptom of a benign vocal fold lesion is a change in voice quality, ranging from mild to severe. The voice can be affected during speaking, singing, or both. Often, hoarseness will be associated with an increased effort to talk and subsequent fatigue or tiring of the voice with continued use. Other symptoms associated with vocal fold lesions include pain with talking (although unusual) or a “lump in the throat” feeling (globus). Pain and globus are only indirectly related to the benign vocal fold lesions; they are usually related to the compensatory mechanisms used to overcome the voice difficulties.
Common Symptoms Associated with Benign Vocal Fold Lesions
Delayed voice initiation
Low, gravelly voice
Voice breaks in first passages of sentences
Airy or breathy voice
Inability to sing in high, soft voice
Increased effort to speak or sing
Hoarse and rough voice quality
Frequent throat clearing
Extra force needed for loud voice
Voice “hard to find”
Symptoms in patients with vocal fold lesions persist. Although symptoms may sometimes increase and decrease depending on accompanying inflammation, they do not go away on their own.
Patient education material presented here does not substitute for medical consultation or examination, nor is this material intended to provide advice on the medical treatment appropriate to any specific circumstances.