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Spasmodic Dysphonia

Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a neurologic disorder in which the larynx experiences involuntary spasms. There are three forms of the condition, each with distinct vocal symptoms. 
  • Adductor SD, the most common form, causes the vocal folds to involuntarily close up. The speech of someone with adductor SD may sound choppy, strained or strangled.
  • Abductor SD causes the vocal folds to involuntarily open so far that they cannot vibrate properly. As a result, the voice may sound weak or overly breathy.
  • Mixed SD is a combination of adductor and abductor SD. Mixed SD is rare.
It is estimated that roughly 50,000 people in North America have some form of SD. The condition usually sets in gradually during middle age, and is more likely to affect woman than men.1

If you suspect you have spasmodic dysphonia, or any form of vocal dysfunction, Temple's experienced otolaryngologists can diagnose and treat your condition.

Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment at Temple

BOTOX Injections
When injected into the body, BOTOX prevents muscle contractions. While famous for its cosmetic uses, BOTOX is also helpful in treating spasmodic dysphonia and cricopharyngeal dysfunction.

Spasmodic dysphonia is a condition in which the larynx, or voice box, experiences involuntary spasms. The spasms occur when the brain sends improper signals to the airway muscles. BOTOX blocks these signals, effectively reducing or ending the spasms.

In most cases, BOTOX can be administered in the doctor's office.  BOTOX must be injected directly into the muscles of the larynx and pharynx. Most physicians inject the drug directly through the neck, using EMG guidance to pinpoint the injection site.  Repeat injections will be necessary in order to control these spasms. It can take several months for a physician to determine the ideal BOTOX dose for a patient. Temple's otolaryngologists are highly experienced in finding the ideal BOTOX dose as quickly as possible to treat spasmodic dysphonia and other conditions such as cricopharyngeal dysfunction.

Voice Therapy

Patients may also be referred for voice therapy following Botox injections, to ensure the best voice outcome.

1National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association