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Specializing in problems of the Ear, nose, sinuses and throat.

An ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) is a physician trained in the medical and surgical treatment of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. They have special expertise in managing diseases of the ears, nose and nasal passage sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face. ENT is the oldest medical specialty in the United States.

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Michael Burnett, MD


What is Dysphonia?

Spasmodic dysphonia is a disease that affects the nervous system and affects your larynx, also known as the voice box. When someone is afflicted with dysphonia, the muscles in their larynx experience involuntary spasms which interfere with their ability to speak and produce sounds. Depending on the severity, dysphonia can be very debilitating. Here are some of the symptoms, causes and treatments for dysphonia.

The Symptoms of Dysphonia

One of the most common symptoms of dysphonia is repeated voice breaks. This will result in a voice with a tight quality to it that might seem strained. In some people, breaks may only happen sporadically once in every couple of sentences, but for people experiencing severe dysphonia, they may have breaks on every other word, making speech very difficult to understand.

It’s important to note that dysphonia is a chronic disease and symptoms may aggravate with time. This is a fairly rare disease that affects about 4 out of 100,000 people in the United States. The disease is more present in people between the ages of 30 and 50 years old and affects more women than men.

The Causes of Dysphonia

To this day, there has been no clear cause for dysphonia that has been identified. Since the problem affects speech patterns, it has long been thought that psychogenic factors were at cause, but most experts agree that dysphonia is caused by an abnormality in the nervous system. However, there has been some rare cases of dysphonia that occurred due to psychogenic reasons.

The Treatments for Dysphonia

While there is no definite cure for dysphonia, there are some treatments that can reduce the symptoms. Clostridium botulinum injections can be prescribed as a form of treatment. Clostridium botulinum is injected into the muscles of the throat to diminish their strength and therefore make the spasms less violent. The treatment’s effects can last anywhere from 3 to 4 months. After this period, the treatment has to be re-administered. In milder cases, voice therapy may be prescribed to alleviate some of the symptoms.

What to Do if You Exhibit any Symptoms

The first thing to do is consult an ENT doctor. He will be able to examine your condition to assess if you indeed suffer from the condition and will provide treatment solutions. If you feel like you may be suffering from dysphonia, contact us today to schedule an appointment with the best ENT doctor in NYC.

Contact us at 212-867-4813 to schedule a consultation

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Michael C. Burnett, MD

115 East 57th Street
Suite 600
Between Park + Lexington Avenues

212-867-4813