Over production of mucous is limiting my voice clarity, volume control and pitch range. ENT specialist viewed with endoscope says vocal chords not closing fully when voicing. Apparently no infection present. Problem increasing over 12 month period. Allergy ruled out. Treatment possible? (male 80 yrs otherwise good health)
Melissa Kim M.S., CCC-SLP replies...
Given your age, I can only assume that when your ENT described vocal folds that are "not closing fully when voicing," he/ she was talking about "presbylarynx," or "presbyphonia." This condition refers to age-related atrophy of the vocal folds, most typically resulting in hoarse, weak voice. Voice therapy with a speech pathologist who specializes in the treatment of voice disorders may be helpful. If it is not, there are surgical options for this condition, most commonly injections of a filler material to improve vocal fold closure that can be done in an office-setting.
I cannot guess as to the contribution of excessive mucous to your vocal difficulties, but that is a problem that is often multi-factorial (e.g., irritation due to acid reflux, illness, environment, etc.) Work with your physician on possible lifestyle changes and/ or medications.
Good luck to you.