Reinkes edema and edema

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All you need to know about Reinkes edema and edema

A remedy for Reinke’s Edema

 

Definition:

Reinke’s edema, or vocal cords edema, is an accumulation of fluid under The vocal cords’ epithelium, or external layer, which swells the cords.

 

Common causes of Reinke’s edema of the vocal cords:

Vocal professionals, namely singers, teachers and public speakers expose their vocal cords to continuous strain many hours a day, or are required to use high vocal intensity.  They are prone to reinke’s edema in the following cases:

  • When resuming their work after a recovery from pharyngitis;
  • Sore throat.
  • Smoking for a long time, which can also thicken the cords.
  • Acid reflux, i.e. acid entering your pharynx from your esophagus. This might burn your cords, causing edema of the vocal cords, false vocal cords, or other parts of your voice box.

 

Other causes of vocal cords edema:

  • Hormonal changes;
  • Allergic responses to medications and other substances;
  • A trauma of the cords following an injury, including a surgery.
  • Making a sudden, strained sound, such as loud cough, shout, etc.

The symptoms:

  • A tone lower than usual, with a bass color, to the extent that a woman’s voice may sound manly, over the phone.
  • In the case of singers, a difficulty to reach high tones.
  • Voice-generating difficulties;
  • Vocal coarseness;

 

  • Broken voice;
  • Screechy voice;
  • Occasionally, throat pain and vocal fatigue;
  • Breathing difficulties (e.g. gasping), due to swollen vocal cords restricting the airflow into your respiratory system.

 

Warning:

In case of acute edema, which gives you breathing difficulties, you must consult an ENT doctor. In extreme cases, a surgical interference is required, to open your airways.

 

 

The edema dilemma:

On one hand, silence is not the right thing to do, since in the case of edema, the swollen cords restrict the blood and fluids circulation in the inflicted zone. Therefore, you must move your cords to allow a flow.

On the other hand, if you keep singing and speaking, as usual, at high vocal intensity and wide vocal range, your edema will only get worse, since you will be pressuring your cords and the swollen area. It looks like you lose both ways, and your edema just won’t go away.

 

 There is a solution!

As in any other vocal cords’ diseases, here, too, we recommend minimizing the usual vocal strain for a couple of weeks, if possible.

Most importantly, you should exercise, up to one minute, several times a day. In such a condition- the more, the better.

Mildly moving your vocal cords is a much better remedy than silence. For example, you should gargle water while making ascending and descending sounds.

Exercising will enhance the flow of blood and oxygen to your throat, and gradually restore your vocal cords flexibility.

The best remedy for Reinke’s edema is exercising with a TPV device. Make sure that your exercises are regular, short, and feels nice to your throat and vocal cords.

 

The interaction of your vocal cords with each other should be swift, mild and involve minimum effort.  The resistance of the water will provide vocal support and is the quickest way of exercising with maximum effects. Exercising with the TPV device will gradually expand your vocal cords’ range of movement.

As a result, the vocal cords movement will significantly improve your edema.

 

So don’t give up hope!

Talya

 

A TMRG specialist