The one way that ENTs can see into the larynx to see the vocal cords is by flexible laryngoscopy which directly visualizes the cords. Effects on the cords are able to be seen including inflammation and nodules. The importance for limiting injury to the vocal cords is that injury can be permanent, that is to say that one can strain the cords so much that the sounds that come out now can be how it sounds for a looooong time. That said, if injury is limited, by avoiding injury to the cords, they can recover, but it takes a while. I agree with Mark1968 that GERD acid can injure cords, as can shouting, speaking, whispering, smoking, dryness, alcohol and other environmental issues. A second opinion is always a good idea, but the advice to stop speaking is what one would probably hear from any ENT.
Enoch Choi, MD
Do you have reflux problems? Also did you ENT doctor do a scope procedure on you while you were in his/her office to physically look ? Do you feel like you have a lump in your throat? If you do, you could have a granuloma on one of your vocal cords, which could cause you to lose your voice.
Thanks for your comment Mark.
I do not have any reflux problems. The ENT did look down my throat briefly during my last visit.
My throat feels dry at times, not exactly like there is a lump though.
Hello Dr. Choi,
Thank you for your reply.
Sorry I forgot to update my post. My ENT did use the flexible laryngoscopy to examine my vocal chords and said I didn't have any nodules, but that my chords were still inflamed. He said they appeared to be getting a little better, which was welcome news. He also prescribed me a 5 day steroid.
Of course it has been a month now. I feel fine, just can't talk much at all, and when I do it still sounds like Im sick, it's faint and higher in tone. Maybe a light improvement?
My ENT hasn't given any estimates on when it will get better, so I've been resting it as much as possible, hoping it will get better before I travel in mid January.
Dr. Choi how long have you seen this condition last for? What's the average?
A related discussion, Voice Hoarseness