Overall, to improve diagnosis and thus treatment of vocal cord damage, otolaryngologists need to be better educated about its many potential causes. The concept of vocal fold scar and a related condition called sulcus vocalis is often under-recognized among otolaryngologists, most notably because it is thought to be a rare condition, said Dr. Rosen. This is in fact false.
Explore This IssueJanuary 2007
Dr. Woo agreed. Often there is not a wide recognition among general otolaryngologists as to the causes for vocal cord damage, he said. However, with the increasing specialization of laryngologists, this can be diagnosed with ease. This is especially true now that more sophisticated endosopic equipment, including video stroboscopy, is now commonly used.
For Dr. Rosen, these specialized diagnostic tools are good for diagnosing vocal fold scar, but they are not used widely by most otolaryngologists. Without the ability to watch the vocal cords vibrate using laryngovideostroboscopy, vocal fold scar and sulcus vocalis are often a misdiagnosis, he said. Thus, patients continue to suffer from significant voice conditions without adequate diagnosis that would lead to prompt and appropriate treatment.
The potential causes of vocal cord damage are numerous. Recognition and knowledge of the many causes of vocal cord damage is critical to improving diagnosis and to ultimately provide the best and most accurate treatment.
©2007 The Triological Society