A Simple Voice Training Method for Vocal Fold Polyps that Emphasizes Abdominal Respiration
Background: We have devised a simple voice training method that emphasizes the abdominal type of respiration. Voice therapy is considered the first choice for vocal fold nodules. Previously, our voice training method was demonstrated to improve all cases with vocal fold nodules. Some hospitals have selected surgical therapy for vocal fold polyps. Our voice training method was employed for vocal fold polyps, including cases with postoperative recurrence. Subjects and methods: None of the 25 cases of vocal polyps had improved from conservative therapy. Six of our cases (25) were postoperative recurrence. All cases were treated by our method of voice training alone using no other therapy (e.g., silence therapy, medication, surgery) during the voice training period. At our out-patient clinic, voice therapy was administered using a simple voice training method that relies on the abdominal type of respiration. Concerning the home training course, all patients received our voice training manual and exercised twice or three times-daily for 10 minutes. Moreover, we instructed them as follows. When patients experience stressed phonation during daily conversation, they corrected to naturally relaxed phonation by exhaling with abdominal respiration. Follow up evaluations were scheduled for every month after their initial visit. Results: In 19 of 25 cases with vocal polyps, the symptoms had disappeared (15) or reduced (4). Eleven of the improved cases (19) showed disappearance (8) or reduction (3) within 3 months. In those with postoperative recurrence of a vocal fold polyp, four of six cases (66.7 %) showed disappearance (2) or reduction (2) after using our method of voice training. Conclusion: These results suggest that our method of voice training could improve many cases with vocal fold polyps. Therefore, this method should be the first choice for some cases with vocal fold polyps as well as vocal fold nodules.