What is it?

Spasmodic dysphonia is a voice disorder. It causes involuntary spasms in the muscles of the voice box or larynx. This causes the voice to break and have a tight, strained or strangled sound.
Spasmodic dysphonia can cause problems ranging from trouble saying a word or two to being not able to talk at all.
Spasmodic dysphonia is a lifelong condition. It most often affects women, with symptoms starting between the ages of 30 and 50.

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Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of spasmodic dysphonia vary depending on whether the spasms cause the vocal cords to close or to open. Speech that is strained or difficult, weak, quiet or breathy may be due to spasmodic dysphonia.


A speech-language pathologist may test voice production and quality. An otolaryngologist, a health care provider who specializes in the ear, nose and throat, can diagnose the disorder. Along with a complete medical history and physical exam, checking the vocal folds using fiberoptic nasolaryngoscopy may be done. This involves using a lighted tube, passed through the nose into the voice box to check movement of the vocal folds during speech. A neurologist may check for underlying neurological problems.


Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
* How old you are.
* Your overall health and medical history.
* How sick you are.
* How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies.
* How long the condition is expected to last.
* Your opinion or preference.
The goal of treatment is to reduce symptoms of the disorder. Injecting Botox directly into the affected muscles of the voice box is a common therapy that is successful. Speech therapy is also a key part of treatment. Some centers offer a surgery to cut one of the nerves of the vocal fold.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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