What is Spasmodic Dysphonia?
Spasmodic dysphonia (or laryngeal dystonia) is a voice disorder caused by involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the larynx or voice box. Individuals who have spasmodic dysphonia may have occasional difficulty saying a word or two or they may experience sufficient difficulty to interfere with communication. Spasmodic dysphonia causes the voice to break or to have a tight, strained or strangled quality.
Spasmodic dysphonia can affect anyone. The first signs of this disorder are found most often in individuals between 30 and 50 years of age. More women appear to be affected by spasmodic dysphonia than are men.
How is Spasmodic Dysphonia Treated?
There is presently no cure for spasmodic dysphonia. Current treatments only help reduce the symptoms of this voice disorder. Voice therapy may reduce some symptoms, especially in mild cases. An operation that cuts one of the nerves of the vocal folds (the recurrent laryngeal nerve) has improved the voice of many for several months to several years but the improvement is often temporary.