Vocal Fold Cyst
Vocal cord cysts can be present from birth, or appear with age. Cause of a vocal cord cyst can be genetic or behavioral. They are tricky in that they do not respond to traditional voice therapy alone. Usually, the patient will have to undergo surgical extraction. Most cysts are either white or clear and are usually found on only one side of the vocal cords. Sometimes, what's called a "reactionary lesion" is formed on the opposing cord in the spot where it meets with the cyst during phonation. This opposing lesion can be smaller or the same size as the cyst. Videostroboscopy is key when this happens to rule out vocal nodules. Cysts cause the affected vocal cord to become stiff and not vibrate as well. The lack of vibration in one cord causes changes in the person's vocal quality. Problems can range from mild voice changes, difficulty with singing range, diplophonia (two sounds coming out at once) and complete loss of voice.
Voice therapy will benefit a patient by improving vocal hygiene, coordinating vocal subsystems and reducing vocal abuse and misuse. We recommend this either before or after surgical removal of the cyst.
Sources: Clinical Voice Pathology: Theory and Management 4th Edition Stemple, Glaze & Klaben