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Conditions

Spasmodic Dysphonia

Voice Loss

Spasmodic Dysphonia is a type of functional dysphonia, meaning that a person may have difficulty speaking. They may also experience a change in their usual voice over an extended period of time. It is thought to be a lasting spasm of the muscles in the throat, which causes breaks in the voice or voice tremor.

There may be various causes for Spasmodic Dysphonia, such as heavy demands on the voice including prolonged shouting, as well as poor vocal technique and stress. Excessive smoking or alcohol consumption can also contribute.

You can help to prevent this condition by recognising the early warning signs of voice problems. These may include an unintentional change in pitch, voice fatigue (meaning the voice gets weaker the more it is used) and a sore throat not caused by an infection.

Some forms of spasmodic dysphonia can be treated with Botox injection or an operation on the nerve endings in the throat.

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I have suffered with voice problems for 7 months, I have throat spasms my voice will suddenly go when I'm speaking or I will just lose my voice for up to a week at a time. My throat is constantly sore (but it's not like a throat infection soreness) I have had 2 cameras down my throat and keep being told I have reflux (I have taken numerous tablets and medication prescribed to me which makes no difference) I have niw referred to speech therapy and have attended 1 session to date, she also thinks I have reflux :(. It really gets me down I work in a school as a teaching assistant and this really effects my job. Nights out are now depressing as I can't keep up with the conversation without losing my voice... Does anyone have any suggestions other than the Botox,I don't fancy doing that every 3 months for the rest of my life :( ....





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I am curious what your thoughts were on the book Intertwined?

I have had SD for a year now. It was diagnosed in Nov 2014 . I had my first BOTOX injection 2 weeks later . I was very happy to be able to speak normally again, but I gotta tell you the pain of the needles is excruciating. I don't want to believe that my only option is BOTOX for the rest of my life every 3-4 months. Recently I saw a web site by an MD in Toronto, Canada who treats various forms of dystonia with movement retraining. He has written a book called Intertwined. Has anyone tried this treatment? It is based on neuroplasticity and how the brain can heal given the right retraining. I am intrigued .





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Thank you to embarrassing bodies for featuring spasmodic dysphonia. It has taken me 6 years of searching for a diagnosis to my loss of voice. My nephew watched the show and called me telling me to google the condition. It is a tough one to diagnose because it is neurological issue not an ENT issue. It has taken months of further research and pushing my GP to finally getting referred to an SD specialist and a real diagnosis leading to my first botox jabs into my vocal chords happened yesterday. Not enough is known about this and programmes like yours are brilliant for raising awareness. I honestly do not think I would have found out what was wrong with me if it hadn't been on the show.





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Thank you to embarrassing bodies for featuring spasmodic dysphonia. It has taken me 6 years of searching for a diagnosis to my loss of voice. My nephew watched the show and called me telling me to google the condition. It is a tough one to diagnose because it is neurological issue not an ENT issue. It has taken months of further research and pushing my GP to finally getting referred to an SD specialist and a real diagnosis leading to my first botox jabs into my vocal chords happened yesterday. Not enough is known about this and programmes like yours are brilliant for raising awareness. I honestly do not think I would have found out what was wrong with me if it hadn't been on the show.





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Hi. This may sound strange but my voice is uncontrollable with its pitch. Is driving my partner crazy. There seems to no reason behind it. Sometimes it's raspy, other times it wont make a sound and I have to force it, which in turn makes it come out false and at a different pitch to mine. I am a 32yr old female. I dont drink alcohol much nor do I over use my voice. I am not on any regular medication apart from something a doctor prescribed me for this. They thought it was acid reflux so I am some little yellow tab at night for that and gavascon too. I have had a camera up my nose and although I was tender during the pressure test via the doctors touch, the camera showed nothing. I was then left with it will go.. its in your head. I have suffered with this for almost a year now and I really need some help please, is it SD? I had never heard of it until tonight when I found this page!





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I'm so glad to find this. I believe I have spasmodic dysphonia and have had the ENT (clear) reflux tables (no use) speech therapy (doesn't help) and now am forking out £60 for 30 mins of throat physiotherapy (this seems to ease it temporarily, like for an hour) and now I'm so distressed I don't know what to do. I'm a PR manager and need my voice to work. It's stopping me attending conferences and the only way I can get through them it to get drunk (this helps to loosen my voice). I can't carry on like this and want to look into botox injections. So, from this I take it it is a case of getting my gp to refer me? I'm in the UK in London, does anyone know how long the waiting list is? It would also be good to know if there are any support groups. Thanks and good luck everyone.





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Hi, my voice have changed before five years ago when I was pregnant in six monthes of pregnancy until now. It is very embarrassing when I talk in a loud voice, I am 36 and never smoking non drinking alkhol. I live in Norway please help me if you know a good doctor here. Thank you very much.





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Hi , Every couple of months i have been loosing my voice. I cannont speak for at least a week. I am a personal trainer and need my job on a day to day basis. I have been to the doctors on several occasions, been referred to ent specialist and had an endoscopy done too, all what my doctors keep telling me is to go home and rest, and put me on tablets that dont work. I am at the end of my tether with it, its effecting my buisness and life. I watched the lady who had the botox done on her throat. Would really like some help.





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Hi, I've recently been diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, after 4 years of being pushed from pillar to post. I eventually returned to South Africa where I was diagnosed. Admittedly I spent money and went for more endoscopy's in the UK than I care to remember all to be told it was reflux or to go home and rest my voice. My voice literally disappeared overnight. Yes stress can help aggravate the situation, but there is no real known understanding of why it happens (although it does point to a neurological issue), and yes at this point in time there is no known cure for it, only possible relief. Speech therapy alone WILL NOT help it, combine the therapy with Botox and it can help. Last week (11th Sept), I went for my first Botox treatment. I have also just qualified as a personal trainer, but the last 4 years have been hell. I'm only 36! I would encourage you to pursue this and don't take no for an answer. Try to find a specialist in dysphonia, rather than a general ENT. Good luck.

Spasmodic dysphonia is a neurological condition and is not caused by any of the things mentioned here nor can it be prevented! These people really should do their research before putting this kind of mis information out there!!! Disgraceful and very un professional..





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I've been suffering with a very similar condition I have lost my voice been like this for coming upto 9 months now specialist referred me to speech therapy and was told my vocal cords are very tense tight and strained and they don't meet together my speech therapy doesn't seem to be improving my quality of voice at all and I saw on the show last night that the woman was given an injection onto the vocal cords is this available on the nhs or would it be a private thing as when I ask of there's anything else that can be done I get told no ... I'm very confused and frustrated as this is effecting my day to day life any help or advice would be appreciated thanks x





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Hello, The programme made it look like it was very easy to get diagnosed and treated. It isnt always the case. I've had this condition for nearly 4 years. It look a year to be diagnosed (by an ENT specialist, a narologist and a Speech Therapist). I've had speech therapy for 3 years and tried lots of additional treatments (accupunture, osteopathy, throat massage and counselling in case it was trapped emotion - sadly its not!). Botox definitely does help but it is only short term. Sure it serves its purpose, you can speak again with ease for a while - but that's it. Only a short while. I had to go back every 2.5 months for more. Eventually scare tissue developed, which made the injections (I had it bi-laterally each time) became harder to inject. Originally I had to pay privately for this and then managed to get it on the NHS (I had to push for this to happen). Its worth you having botox if you are struggling but there is also an alternative if you are willing to put the work in yourself. I decided towards the end of last year that I wanted to try an alternative to botox, I couldnt accept that this was my only option for the rest of my life (Im in my early 30s). Through research I found Free to Speak Voice Therapy. It taught me the importance of posture, alignment, the correct breathing techniques and so much more. I am now retraining my voice into a new groove. Its working. I feel liberated and am finally starting to be able to speak freely for the first time in years. Its given me my life and my confidence back. I understand its a frustrating time for you and you want to get the right treatment. Do what's best for you but please consider the alternative to botox. Its worth trying the botox and it certainly served its purpose well and helped me to sound 'normal' again (in a botoxed voice). However, the best thing you can do for your voice is free it completely. Inhibiting the old patterns of behaviour that your voice has learnt with your SD condition and retraining it. I truly feel liberated now from my voice prison and able to speak freely again.


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