If voice therapy alone does not alleviate your symptoms or improve vocal cord function, your NYU Langone doctor may recommend the use of corticosteroids. Steroids have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on soft tissue and may reduce swelling and irritation in the vocal cords. Steroids can be taken by mouth in pill form or administered by a doctor, who injects them directly into the vocal cords.
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Your doctor may decide to complement voice therapy with a course of oral corticosteroids. Oral steroids can reduce swelling in the vocal cords and surrounding soft tissue and may also reduce the size of a benign vocal cord lesion. Pills are typically prescribed for less than one week. Your doctor then reevaluates your vocal cord function and symptoms before recommending further treatment.
Occasionally a voice specialist injects a corticosteroid solution directly into your vocal cords in order to administer a higher concentration of medicine. This technique may be more effective than oral steroids in reducing the size of a benign vocal cord lesion, although your doctor can decide the most appropriate application based on your symptoms and anatomy. A steroid injection can be done in your doctor’s office with local anesthesia.
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