Thursday, September 15, 2016

Vocal Cord Paralysis: Could It Be Treated or, Furthermore, Cured?


Vocal Cord Paralysis (Paresis) is a very serious voice disorder.


If there are (God Forbid) both vocal cords paralyzed, (which means there is no movement whatsoever happening between them), there is not much (if at all) that could be done to bring those vocal cords to their normal working order. The person who suffers from that horrible voice condition, practically, is mute, as he/she cannot formulate any words.

It is indeed very sad!

A few years ago, a handsome executive-looking Asian man walked in through my office doors. Luckily, his wife was accompanying him; as otherwise, I would not be able to understand anything what he was trying to say. She told me that her husband had an operation performed on his thyroid when he had, what doctors thought, a benign lump.

After this first surgery, one of his vocal cords got paralyzed. At that time he, apparently, still could talk; however already, with great difficulty. Then, a year later, he was diagnosed with the cancer of the thyroid.

The doctors performed the surgery again, and this time around, they “managed” to paralyze the second vocal cord, which left the man unable to talk at all.

Does anybody could do anything about it, you may ask? My answer would be,  “Not to my knowledge and quite unlikely”.

However, when there is only one vocal cord paralyzed, there is a great possibility to improve one’s speech, by not only  (via special speech exercises) make the cord move (at least to a degree), but also by restructuring the sound to the different set of muscles altogether.

The facial muscles (where the voice now will be residing) will play the role of the natural amplifier or resonator. The lower abdomen and upper diaphragm muscles will be utilized to support the lift of the sound to the facial cavities.

Once the facial muscles begin to work in full conjunction and coordination with the abdominal muscles, the greater pronunciation and annunciation will be also implemented. Therefore, the person with only one paralyzed vocal cord could be well treated to the point that he/she could come back to their normal life and feel adequate enough in their everyday performance.

So even if the vocal cord does not begin to move fully, the lift to the facial muscles will greatly compensate for that and nobody will know the difference.

After all, if you cannot start your car the regular way, you may be able to start you car from the trunk. And if employing the latter will take you places, so be it.

Given the above, the mission becomes accomplished (whichever way it works); and that’s what counts!

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