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Spasmodic dysphonia

  • Definition

    Spasmodic dysphonia is difficulty speaking due to spasms (dystonia) of the muscles that control the vocal cords.


    Alternative Names

    Dysphonia - spasmodic


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    In the past, spasmodic dysphonia was thought to be caused by a psychological, instead of a physical problem. However, many people now believe that it stems from a problem in the brain and nervous system. The vocal cord muscles spasm, causing the vocal cords to get too close or too far apart while people with the condition are using their voice.

    Spasmodic dysphonia usually occurs between ages 30 and 51. Women are more likely to be affected than men.