Factors that may increase your risk of developing vocal cord paralysis include:

  • Being female. Women are slightly more likely to develop vocal cord paralysis.
  • Undergoing throat or chest surgery. People who need surgery on their thyroid, throat or upper chest have an increased risk of vocal cord nerve damage. Sometimes breathing tubes used in surgery or to help you breathe if you're having serious respiratory trouble can damage the vocal cord nerves.
  • Having a neurological condition. People with certain neurological conditions — such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or myasthenia gravis — are more likely to develop vocal cord weakness or paralysis.
Jun. 15, 2012

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