Spasmodic Dysphonia - Symptoms and Treatment
What is Spasmodic Dysphonia?
Spasmodic Dysphonia is a medical condition that causes chronic spasms in the voice box. This spasm can happen unexpectedly or on purpose, can be brought on by emotions, and causes speech to be slurred or broken up.
For some people who have it, it's difficult to speak more than a few words at a time without becoming extremely frustrated with the rough speech.
Fortunately one of the ways you can manage Spasmodic Dysphonia is through certain exercises that build upper chest muscular strength. To start with, it is suggested you use voice-training software to get an idea of how your voice sounds, noting the rate of change of pitch and stress of each word.
With this knowledge, you can determine whether or not your chest muscles are strong enough to control the stress of speaking. If you find that for some sentences and words your voice is already straining and breaking up, then one of these exercises may help keep it solid and smooth:
If you do not feel that any of the exercises described here will help manage your Spasmodic Dysphonia then it is recommended that you see a specialist such as a Speech Therapist. They will be able to give you more in-depth information about your voice and suggest exercises that are best suited for you.
Making the right choice in an exercise program is very important when managing Spasmodic Dysphonia. To do this, it is recommended to begin with one of the basic programs described here.
Only once these exercises have been mastered should you move on to more advanced training programs.
If you are not making any progress with your therapy, it may be beneficial to consult a Speech Therapist who can offer further information on what other therapy options may exist.
A Word About Diet
One of the biggest factors in managing Spasmodic Dysphonia is your diet. Eating a healthy diet rich in protein and carbohydrates can be an effective way to manage existing symptoms. By doing so, you can help keep good muscle tone and good control over spasms.
It is important to eat three regular meals a day and one or two snacks, as this will ensure that the muscles you use the most are fed and function at their best.
If you want to be sure that you're getting enough protein for your body then it is suggested that you eat chicken breast, fish, or meat at each meal – but avoid processed or fast food as it lacks vital nutrients such as B vitamin complex.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Difference Between A Cure And A Treatment?
Cures are events that will return your voice to normal. Treatment is something that you're told to do until the eventual cure happens. In the meantime, however, there can be benefits from treatments.
For example, a treatment for problem skin may decrease the inflammation in your skin so it isn't so itchy. But with a cure, you'll recover from a painful infection and be fine again without any additional help from treatments.
How Many People Have Spasmodic Dysphonia?
Nobody knows how many people have Spasmodic Dysphonia because many people don't know they have it or don't tell anyone about it. From what we know, it occurs in about 1% of people.
How Common Is Spasmodic Dysphonia?
Spasmodic dysphonia affects about 1% of the general population, putting it in the same class as some genetic diseases. However, this condition may occur at any age. It can first show up in childhood or even adulthood.
What Are The Signs Of Spasmodic Dysphonia?
The main sign of spasmodic dysphonia is slurred speech or multiple word stutters. You might have low vision problems because of spasms in the muscles used to cross your eyes during reading or watching TV, playing video games, or looking at a computer screen.
How Do I Know If I Have Spasmodic Dysphonia?
You may not know if you have it, but it can be easily diagnosed by a doctor who listens to your voice and then looks at it with a microscope.
What Causes Spasmodic Dysphonia?
Unknown at the moment, but the cause could be related to neurological problems in the brain. It could also be caused by nerve damage from diseases such as Parkinson's Disease or Multiple Sclerosis.
Is It Genetic?
Genetic isn't known either; however, you can inherit the condition if your mother or father has it.
What Is The Best Cure For Spasmodic Dysphonia?
The only sure cure is surgery to remove whatever is squeezing your vocal cords. However, this is very rare and expensive, so most people just try to deal with the symptoms through various treatments.