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Vocal Cords

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A Brief Introduction to Vocal Cords

Vocal cords are one of the most important parts of our body and our whole system. Before we go into much depth, let's take a look at the definition of it so we know what exactly we are talking about. They are bands of muscle tissues that are flexible and are located at the entry of the trachea/ the windpipe. The main function of this part of the body is to provide us with a voice.

Healthy vocal cords come together to make a sound and they vibrate when the sound is made. When you are not saying anything or you are silent, the cords are relaxed and open so the air can pass through and you can breathe. This is the main vocal cords function allowing us to make sounds and speak.

In this article, we will learn more about our cords, how to treat strained vocal cords, and much more. 

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What are Damaged Vocal Cords?

A Few Signs That You Have Damaged Vocal Cords:

  • Persistent breaking in your voice or a change in your voice. Many times, if your cords are damaged or strained then you can detect it early as some symptoms; sometimes, this can be as early as two weeks. Many times, this is caused because of the cold or if you speak or yell for a long time but there are treatments for it. Many people use home remedies like salt water gargle or honey tea to treat this. 

  • Another symptom of Strained vocal cords is vocal fatigue. This happens when you use your voice more than you should; it can happen to singers, teachers, etc. just like how our arms get tired when we move them around a lot, our voice gets tired also. Overuse results in losing your voice because the tissue in your vocal cords has been damaged. The position of the vocal cords is in such a place that it is very important to take care of your vocal cords. This can also be treated by a laryngologist who would treat you after examining you. 

How to Heal Them and How Do They Get Damaged?

A Few Swollen Vocal Cords Remedies and Treatments Are:

  • If it is caused by a bacterial infection, doctors may recommend you take antibiotics to heal your sore throat. 

  • Sometimes, if it is not so serious, it can get better at home by taking care and using home remedies. Doing self-care can heal you quickly. You can give your voice a rest and not strain it much, do salt water gargling, drink warm fluids like lemon tea, etc. 

  • Corticosteroids are used in the most urgent cases where this needs to be treated; it helps in reducing the inflammation in your cords. 

  • Other home remedies include: using a humidifier and breathing moist air, resting your voice and avoiding putting strain on it, etc. 

These are some causes of damaged vocal cords & how to heal them. Some of the causes include viral infections, too much yelling, inhaling fumes, allergens, etc., sinus, smoking/ alcohol use, vocal cord paralysis, and other such causes. It is also bad to have a cadaveric position of vocal cords as it can lead to great damage that can make your throat sore and you may lose your voice until recovered. 

Position of Vocal Cords 

What we see on the right side is the vocal cords diagram. They are located right next to the voice box. They are situated within the larynx which is also known as the voice box and at the top/ opening of the trachea as we see in the image on the right. The cords are attached to the arytenoid in the rear and attached to the thyroid cartilage in the front. 

The cartilaginous skeleton in which the cords are has 3 parts of vocal cords. This is made up of thyroid, cricoid, and arytenoid cartilages. These are connected to the head, neck, etc. The muscles located inside change the shape and tightness of the vocal cords.  

The cadaveric position of vocal cords is the location of the vocal cords in the middle which causes a little excavation. This can lead to your voice becoming weak or other such things. 

Fun Facts

Some Interesting Facts About Your Vocal Cords Are:

  • Healthy vocal cords work best if they are tight. This is because, if they are relaxed, air can pass through them but if they are right then less air will pass through them making them work better. 

  • Did you know that when you whisper, you don’t use any parts of your vocal cords? When you whisper, the sound is made by the airflow and not the vibration of your cords.  


Throughout this article, we learned a lot about our vocal cords and we also understood quite a bit using a vocal cords diagram. It is very important to know what are a few remedies that will help if you ever have a sore throat or when you should see a doctor if you think it is quite serious. It is quite important to take care of your cords, by not straining them too much or overusing them until they get exhausted and the tissues get damaged.

The position of vocal cords is in the larynx which is the voice box. In simple terms, if you are ever asked what it is, it is a band of muscle tissues that gives us a voice when we speak.

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FAQs on Vocal Cords

1. What is the different vocal cord’s function?

There are quite a few roles that these cords play. The main function is that when it vibrates and the air goes through the cords, it produces a sound which we call voice. This air goes through the lungs to make a sound. When we are silent, they are relaxed letting air flow through, but when they are tight, less air flows through; the tighter they are, the higher your pitch is. In the article above, we have seen the vocal cords diagram. Using that you can easily understand its functions. In simple terms, the main function is to produce sounds. 

2. What are some remedies for your swollen vocal cords?

Some of the swollen vocal cords remedies which people use are:

Gargle saltwater. A sore throat can be soothed with warm salted water. Many people also use apple cider vinegar as a remedy to treat their swollen vocal cords. This helps to fight the infection and get rid of it. You can also add a small amount of this to your saltwater when you gargle. It is advised to do this once or twice every day until it gets better. This helps the vocal cords function properly without any problems or hindrances and allows them to work smoothly. It helps get rid of hoarseness and crankiness in your voice. 

Some people also drink warm tea with honey as it helps soothe the throat. Also, apart from helping the irritated throat, the tea helps with improving your immune system also if the tea has herbal ingredients like chamomile, etc. These are some of the swollen vocal cords remedies people all across the world use when they have a sore throat.