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A 28-year-old female asked:

what could cause involuntary vocal cord vibration when lying down? for the past few weeks as i try to go to sleep my vocal cords will start making noise-it is not a snore or a wheeze, just a moan noise. this had never happened to me before and i'm wonderi

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Daniel Seely
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 38 years experience
The : The noise coming from your throat as you're drifting off to sleep could represent a few different possibilities. As we go into deeper levels of sleep, the muscles in our throat relax and the geometry/dynamics of the throat are altered from our waking state. It's possible that the sound is related to this...Especially if you've gained weight or are having any alcohol in the evening. Your concern about a tumor is a valid possibility. It is low likelihood, but obviously missing this diagnosis can have serious consequences. Other associated symptoms would further raise the level of concern for a tumor: difficulty swallowing, blood mixed into the saliva, sore throat, unintentional weight loss, voice change, etc. Bottom line: we can't definitely answer your question without taking a detailed history and fully examining your throat. I would suggest an evaluation by an ENT doctor, or at least talking things over with your primary care provider. Dan seely.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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