Inability to Burp or Belch

Inability to Burp or Belch Inability to burp or belch occurs when the upper esophageal sphincter (cricopharyngeus muscle) cannot relax in order to release the “bubble” of air. The sphincter is a muscular valve that encircles the upper end of the esophagus just below the lower end of the throat passage. If looking from the front […]

Marfan Syndrome

Marfan Syndrome is genetic connective tissue disorder caused by a defect in gene FBN1, which codes for abnormal structure of fibrillin-1, a protein crucial for formation of normal connective tissue. Most critical is Marfan syndrome’s effect on heart and blood vessels, which tend to dilate and be at risk of rupture. Connective tissue in bones, […]


Literally, “old age voice.” See also presbylarynx. As with presbylarynx, to describe precisely the voice’s capabilities, limitations, and aberrations seems much more useful than to use this term. Tags


Literally, “old age larynx.” The term presbylarynx is used to signify vocal cord changes (and, by extension, vocal limitations) that accompany aging. Typically, these vocal cord changes include bowing of the cords, atrophy, flaccidity, and sometimes reduced wetness and lubrication of the vocal cords. The symptoms of these changes include foggy or weak voice quality, […]

Bilateral Vocal Cord Fixation

Bilateral Vocal Cord Fixation is the immobility of both vocal cords due to a scarring rather than paralytic cause. The scarring might manifest as a synechia that tethers the vocal cords to each other and prevents them from separating during breathing. Or it could mean that both cricoarytenoid joints are ankylosed, or “frozen.” The most common […]


The death of cells or tissue. In laryngology, necrosis is seen most commonly after radiation therapy to the larynx for cancer treatment. Radiation kills the tumor but at the same time damages the blood supply of normal tissue on a permanent basis. Necrosis in this instance is called “radionecrosis.” Or, necrosis could result from trauma […]

Phonatory Insufficiency

When the vocal cords cannot close sufficiently or vibrate adequately to produce a serviceable voice. An inability to close is usually evidenced by air-wasting phenomenology. This phonatory insufficiency could have one of several causes. It could be due to the loss of part or all of one or both vocal cords, such as after removal […]

Arytenoid Chondritis / Perichondritis

An infectious or inflammatory response with ongoing ulceration or granulation on the superstructure of the arytenoid cartilage. Here we are talking of the arytenoid cartilage and/ or its thin “envelope” of fibrous tissue called perichondrium. The root chondr- refers to cartilage. A similar and much more common disorder, contact granuloma or contact ulcer, occurs on the medial surface of […]

Flaccidity of the Vocal Cords

Vocal cord flaccidity correlates to some degree with atrophy of the muscle comprising them. Bowing also accompanies flaccidity most of the time. It is possible to have bowed/slender vocal cords that are not particularly flaccid—they still vibrate with good firmness and resilience. Similarly, vocal cords that appear to have good bulk (and are not atrophied) can […]

Vocal Cord Scissoring

Mismatching of the levels of the vocal cords. Vocal cord scissoring may in some cases be asymptomatic, but more often it introduces a rough quality to the voice, because the desired mirror-image bilateral symmetry of oscillation will be lost. Photos: Scissoring of the Vocal Cords Vocal Cord Scissoring, Made More Obvious by Atrophy Scissoring Arytenoids […]