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Spasmodic Dysphonia

Spasmodic dysphonia is when the vocal cord muscles contract irregularly and abnormally, leading to changes in the quality of your voice.


Sufferers of spasmodic dysphonia may notice:

  • Their voice sounds strained or strangled
  • Their voice seems "shaky"
  • It takes a lot of effort to speak

The symptoms can worsen when you're feeling stress. Likewise, symptoms can improve when you are laughing, singing or after having an alcoholic beverage.

Symptoms usually begin in adulthood and worsen over time. There is no known cause of spasmodic dysphonia.


The main treatment for spasmodic dysphonia is a Botox injection to the vocal cord. This helps limit muscle movement and prevent spasms.

The injection is placed directly into the vocal cord.

If Botox is not effective, surgery is the next step. The most common surgery for spasmodic dysphonia is a procedure known as "deinnervation-reinnervation," in which the nerves causing the spasms are cut and rerouted.

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