What Is the Diagnosis of Spasmodic Dysphonia?

Q:
What is the diagnosis of spasmodic dysphonia?

A:
Spasmodic dysphonia is also known as laryngeal dystonia. It is a neurological disorder affecting the voice muscles in the larynx, or voice box. It causes the voice to break and will give the voice a tight, strained quality. The disorder affects women more often than men.

Currently, there is no universally accepted diagnostic test for spasmodic dysphonia. A multidisciplinary team including a speech-language pathologist, an otolaryngologist, and a neurologist is required for diagnosis of spasmodic dysphonia:

  • The speech-language pathologist conducts a speech assessment to collect information about voice use and symptoms, and performs clinical observation and perceptual rating of voice characteristics such as voice breaks or strain.
  • After speech assessment, the otolaryngologist conducts a transnasal laryngoscopy to view the vocal folds and activity of the muscles controlling them to eliminate other possible causes of the voice disorder.
  • The neurologist performs an assessment to evaluate the individual for any other neurological problems.

If you have any problem, please consult your doctor.

Key words: spasmodic dysphonia; diagnosis of spasmodic dysphonia.