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Reinke’s oedema: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About Reinke’s oedema

Reinke’s oedema is a disease affecting the vocal cords. This is also called polypoid chorditis. This disorder is characterised by fluid collection in the soft tissue of the vocal cords.

Reinke’s oedema: Incidence, age and sex

Reinke’s oedema is commonly seen in middle-aged to old-aged individuals. It does not show any affinity to gender or race.

Signs and symptoms of Reinke’s oedema: Diagnosis

The primary clinical feature of Reinke’s oedema includes hoarseness of voice. There may be rapid vocal fatigue or the individual may exhibit frequent clearing of throat. The affected individual may present with husky and low-pitched voice.

The diagnosis is established by examination of the vocal cord by an experienced otolaryngologist. Biopsy (microscopic examination of a small specimen of the affected tissue) of the vocal cord may help confirm the diagnosis.

Causes and prevention of Reinke’s oedema

Reinke’s oedema may be caused by various factors including voice misuse, smoking cigarettes or acid reflux from the stomach into the throat region. Hormonal changes like hypothyroidism may also lead to this disorder.

The disorder may be prevented by smoking cessation, avoiding speaking in whispering tone for longer time-periods. Individuals with acid peptic disorders should take adequate medications to prevent any acid reflux into the throat.

Reinke’s oedema: Complications

Reinke’s oedema may have distressing personal and social implications. The afflicted individual’s social life may get affected due to his/her husky, low-pitched voice. This condition may lead to serious health concerns like vocal cord cancer.

Reinke’s oedema: Treatment

Reinke’s oedema can be treated once the cause is detected. Cessation of smoking is of utmost importance, since continuous smoking may further prompt the disease to turn cancerous. Voice usage should be at a bare minimum, until the oedema subsides. Underlying disease like acid reflux should be controlled by medicine or diet and hypothyroidism need to be controlled by medicines.