What is spasmodic dysphonia?
Spasmodic dysphonia is a neurological voice disorder affecting the voice muscles in the larynx, or voice box. The speech sounds strangled or very breathy depending on the form of SD. It is also called laryngeal dystonia.
Spasmodic dyshonia makes it very difficult to talk and to express oneself. Most of the time people who are affected with spasmodic dysphonia can still sing, cry, shout and whisper.
Spasmodic dysphonia causes voice breaks and can give the voice a tight, strained quality. People with spasmodic dysphonia may have occasional breaks in their voice that occur once every few sentences. Usually, however, the disorder is more severe and spasms may occur on every other word, making a person’s speech very difficult for others to understand. At first, symptoms may be mild and occur only occasionally, but they may worsen and become more frequent over time. Spasmodic dysphonia is a chronic condition that continues throughout a person’s life.
Spasmodic dysphonia can affect anyone. It is a rare disorder, occurring in roughly one to four people per 100,000 people. The first signs of spasmodic dysphonia are found most often in people between 30 and 50 years of age. It affects women more than men.