Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a voice disorder. It occurs when the muscles of the throat freeze or go into spasms. Words are strangled and strained or they don’t get out at all. Sounds are also distorted.
Main types of SD include:
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The exact causes of SD are unknown. It is labeled as a disorder of the central nervous system. The areas of the brain that control these muscle movements are deep within the brain.
Factors increase your chance of developing SD include:
If you have any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to SD. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Contact your doctor if you have any of these:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
Your doctor may refer you to a team of specialists, including:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association
Canadian Association of Speech Language Pathologists
Ontario Association for Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
Daniilidou, P, Carding P, Wilson, J, Drinnan, M, Deary, V. Cognitive behavioral therapy for functional dysphonia. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology. 2007;116:717-722.
Diagnosis. National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association website. Available at: http://www.dysphonia.org/spasmodic/diagnosis.asp . Accessed September 8, 2012.
Dysphonia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated April 30, 2012. Accessed September 8, 2012.
Spasmodic dysphonia. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association website. Available at: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/SpasmodicDysphonia.htm . Accessed September 8, 2012.
Spasmodic dysphonia. EBSCO Publishing Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/pointOfCare/nrc-about . Updated April 30, 2012. Accessed September 8, 2012.
Spasmodic dysphonia. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communicative Disorders website. Available at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/Pages/spasdysp.aspx . Accessed September 8, 2012.
Last reviewed September 2012 by Rimas Lukas, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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