Vocal Nodules

Updated on September 13, 2011
T.H. asks from Davis, CA
5 answers

My son has been chronically hoarse for a while. We just had him checked by an ear, nose and throat doc and they found that he has vocal nodules. He recommended that my son take heartburn medication for reflux to make them go away. He would need to be on the meds for several months before we begin to see results. I'm a bit reluctant to start him on chronic medication, but I wanted to check here to see if anyone else has experience with this. He's already in speech therapy for something unrelated, and we will get him some voice therapy through his current therapist. Has anyone else treated their child for vocal nodules? How did you get them to go away? Is it worth treating? Thanks for your help!

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answers from Sacramento on

How old is your son? Did he have reflux as a baby?

My son has nodules, too. He's almost 4 years old and had severe reflux as a baby. He was on Prevacid until about 9 months of age when we assumed the reflux was over (that was the age he stopped spitting up, and he seemed fine after stopping the medication.) He's always had a hoarse voice, and when he had tubes put in his ears, the ENT also looked at his vocal cords and found the nodules. He has just started speech therapy, and the ENT suggested we restart the Prevacid. He said it's really hard to determine whether or not a child has reflux, but the medication is worth a try. We will also go back to the ENT in 2 months to re-evaulate.

My son is also a screamer (a whole other issue we are dealing with!), and that will contribute to the nodules. I think it is definitely worth treating. For us, I hear it getting worse and I can't imagine what his voice will sound like in a few years if left untreated. I'm thinking that once we see improvement while he's in speech and taking the Prevacid, we stop the medication. If the hoarseness returns, we know he's having reflux issues.

Hope this helps. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My dad had them. He talks constantly, even when no one is around. The doctor told him he had to refrain from talking and see if they would go away or he would have to have them surgically removed.



answers from Raleigh on

I have a degree in music/voice, and have experience with these vocal complications in singers. Vocal nodules are a common problem with singers, especially on a voice that is overused or used incorrectly and is probably one of the worse things that can happen to a singer.
Nodules are like little callouses all over the vocal chords, and can cause a raspy, breathy tone. If the nodules get large enough, it can cause an ongoing lump in the throat sensation, neck pains, and/or shooting pains towards the ear. Over time, and without proper treatment, damage can be done that will require surgery to fix. The more important thing to take from this is that that long-term heartburn can have more serious complications if left untreated. Give him the medication!



answers from San Francisco on

My roommate had them. She talked loudly and quite a lot. She said it was funny that normally singers get them and she just got them from talking a lot. I would treat him. I don't know a ton about it, but I know my roommate had to refrain from talking for several days because of it. She had to bring a chalk board around with her - even to prom!



answers from Boston on

Yes, please treat them. Also, you will be getting some good tips from the speech/language pathologist about vocal habits to avoid, including yelling or whispering, both of which increase the stress on the vocal cords. If you have doubts about the treatment, consider getting a second opinion, which might be able to be done without re-examining the vocal cords/nodules.

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