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Google CEO Larry Page says his voice problems were caused by vocal cord paralysis

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Larry Page
Larry Page

Google CEO Larry Page has finally opened up about a recurring and noticeable health problem — what Google Chairman Eric Schmidt characterized as the loss of Page's voice last year. In a post on his Google+ page today, Page describes how he first encountered the issue "about 14 years ago," right around the time that he cofounded Google, when he suffered a cold and then a hoarse voice, from which he says he never fully recovered. As Page writes: "So I went to a doctor and was diagnosed with left vocal cord paralysis. This is a nerve problem that causes your left vocal cord to not move properly."

Page says the same problem cropped up last summer in his right vocal cord, causing him to miss Google I/O in 2012, but in both cases, no precise cause was ever identified. Page writes that in researching the cause, he was separately diagnosed with "Hashimoto's thyroiditis" in 2003, but that this condition is a "fairly common benign inflammatory condition of the thyroid which causes me no problems." Page says it's unclear if this is related to his voice loss, and that there is speculation both could be related to virus-based damage from his cold. But in order to help identify the root causes of his vocal cord paralysis, Page is partnering with the Voice Health Institute to fund a survey others who have suffered from the condition.

"I went to a doctor and was diagnosed with left vocal cord paralysis."

As for his own quality of life following this latest instance of vocal cord paralysis, Page says "after some initial recovery I’m fully able to do all I need to at home and at work, though my voice is softer than before," adding that because this issue has impacted his breathing, his speaking engagements and aerobic activity will be more difficult going forward. He also says "surprisingly, overall I am feeling very lucky." Read his full post over at Google+.