Laryngeal Videostroboscopy enables us to view the vocal folds (vocal cords) to see how they vibrate. The vocal folds vibrate too fast for the human eye to see the actual vibration. During conversational speech, the vocal folds of the typical male vibrate an average of 100-130 times a second, and for the typical female, the vocal folds vibrate an average of 190-220 times a second. Laryngeal Videostrobscopy uses a strobe light to create a series of images that appear to be slow motion vibration of the vocal folds. This allows us to assess how well the vocal folds are vibrating and to see any problems with how the vocal folds are functioning.
As speech-language pathologists, we do not make medical diagnoses. We use Laryngeal Videostroboscopy to assess how the vocal folds vibrate and function. But if we see something that looks unusual, or you report symptoms that are consistent with a medical problem, we will refer you to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) for medical evaluation.
With Laryngeal Videostroboscopy we assess the following parameters of vocal fold function:
- Vocal fold edges - Are they smooth or rough, straight or irregular
- Vocal fold closure - Do they close completely, as they should, or are there gaps in the closure pattern
- Vibration characteristics - Do they vibrate symmetrically without areas of stiffness or irregularity; are they flexible enough to allow for adequate pitch variation
- Structural characteristics - Are there any bumps or masses that look unusual, or do any of the laryngeal structures look abnormal and are interfering with phonation