Speech Therapy

What Is Dysphonia Therapy? – An Overview

A good looking, charming, and dashing guy, comes up to me and starts this interesting conversation while we both were waiting for our respective partners to arrive. If only I had any idea about Dysphonia Therapy or even a slightest hint about any possible help. His voice suddenly went all choppy and breathy. I and my partner helped this man to a hospital where he later mentioned that he felt as if he was being strangled. I was absolutely scared. Let us learn what the possible solutions for the voice disorders are:

What Is This Voice Disorder All About?
The abnormal muscle contractions that leave the vocal chords or the larynx open or close and makes it difficult for them to vibrate and produce sound is called dysphonia.

The situation in which the muscle spasms force the vocal chords close, it is called as adductor dysphonia.
And, the condition in which the larynx is left open due to the muscle contractions is called as abductor dysphonia. There is also a third category called mixed dysphonia where the muscles are left open or close at different times making it difficult to produce sound.

Dysphonia Therapy:
There are a few suggested therapies for it, but no definite cure. Botulinum toxin, larynx surgery, and laryngoplasty are the few treatments that we will learn about in brief.

  • Botulinum Toxin Injections:
    The choppy, weak, broken, stiff, breathy, or whispering voice can be corrected by injecting botulinum toxin direct into the affected muscles. This weakens the stiffness and relaxes the muscles sufficiently to produce normal sound. But, this therapy is only a temporary solution and as the effect of the botox injection wears off, so the choppy quality returns.This therapy should be taken every 3 to 4 months to correct the problem.
  • Larynx Surgery:
    This is a long term solution that can be effective for months or years but is assumed that even this method is not a permanent solution for the voice disorders. The nerve that results in the spasms and causes the voice quality to deteriorate is cut off from the larynx through a surgical procedure. This corrects the problem but is not permanent.
  • Laryngoplasty:
    In this therapy the vocal chords are adjusted and positioned in a way that it corrects the voice quality adequately. This is achieved through a surgical procedure and is mainly helpful in adductor dysphonia only. This method is still not widely accepted by many and is further subjected to experiments.

These are some of the dysphonia therapy options that people can opt for, but it is generally recommended to go for the botox injections. Though a temporary solution, it does not alter or surgically tries to fix the vocal chords and can be done again and again.

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