Spasmodic dysphonia diagnosis

Diagnosis of spasmodic dysphonia is often delayed due to lack of recognition of its symptoms by screening physicians. Most patients who are correctly diagnosed are evaluated by a team that usually includes an otolaryngologist, a speech-language pathologist and a neurologist.

The otolaryngologist examines the vocal folds to look for other possible causes for the voice disorder. Fiberoptic laryngoscopy, a method whereby a small lighted flexible tube is passed through the nose and into the throat, is a helpful tool that allows the otolaryngologist to evaluate vocal cord movement during speech.

Additional diagnostic testing may include stroboscopy, which allows the physician to view the vibrations of the vocal cords in slow motion. The speech-language pathologist evaluates the patient’s voice and voice quality.

The neurologist evaluates the patient for signs of other movement disorders.

 

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