Hi! This is my first post here since...2006? I used to post here when I was recovering from thyroid cancer. It's been a while.
Anyone else with contact ulcers on their vocal cords? I'm a teacher, so this has been a problem for me on and off for over a decade, but I just completed a course of voice therapy that really seems to help. My voice fatigues a bit more slowly now that I'm practicing what I learned in therapy (fairly religiously though not perfectly) and the ulcer I had from Christmas until late February seemed to be staying off the radar.
Unfortunately I had some kind of nasty upper respiratory virus this weekend, and the attendant coughing has now set it off again. It's not terrible right now, and I am very glad I took 3 days off work (since I didn't have ANY voice for two of those days, it wasn't a difficult choice) but I am determined to nip this sucker in the bud.
I'm thinking of taking some prednisone in the morning (one dose - about 12.5 mg) just to see if it will interrupt the inflammation sufficiently to keep it from going full-on. I can't take another six to eight weeks of pain. I'm doing a few herbal/nutritional things too. Does anyone have experience here, any suggestions? thanks!
Was there any mention of GERD as a possible cause of the ulcers? The refluxed gastric acids can burn the vocal cords and cause ulceration, swelling, hoarseness. Treating the GERD, if present, is key to keeping the ulcers away.
I'm not convinced that I have GERD, no. If I have anything resembling that I might have silent laryngeal reflux, but I don't think so. I have other risk factors (the teaching, the singing, the general never shutting up, allergies, and frequent illnesses this year that have caused a lot of coughing) so if that's a culprit it's definitely not the only one.
Do you have experience with these ulcers? If so, did some kind of reflux treatment help? I'm really looking for a way to prevent them from lasting for months...
All the other things you mentioned can certainly cause swelling and irritation of the vocal cords, but "contact ulcers" refers to contact with some caustic substance, and the gastric juices brought up with GERD are highly acidic. This usually occurs at night when sleeping, so many people are not aware of it even happening. I don't personally have ulcers on vocal cords, but do have GERD. There are meds that can reduce the acid production that are taken at bedtime, like Prilosec or Zantac, both OTC, plus the general instructions for GERD of sleeping with head/chest somewhat elevated, avoiding bedtime snacks that stimulate acid production, avoiding alcohol in evening (loosens sphincter at top of stomach), etc., helps a lot too. I would visit the boards for GERD for a list of those "lifestyle changes" that help GERD. A feeling of heartburn in the night is a good clue that this is happening, although many people have silent reflux.
Last edited by ladybud; 04-13-2013 at 02:43 AM.