Spasmodic dysphonia (or laryngeal dystonia) is a voice disorder characterized by involuntary movements or spasms of one or more muscles of the larynx during speech.
There are three types of spasmodic dysphonia (SD)
- Adductor spasmodic dysphonia
- Abductor spasmodic dysphonia
- Mixed spasmodic dysphonia
Exact cause not known as yet but certain epidemiological, genetic and neurological pathogenic factors have been listed which can act as triggering or risk factors:-
- Being female
- Being middle aged
- Having a family history of neurological diseases (e.g., tremor, dystonia, meningitis and other neurological diseases)
- Stressful events
- Upper respiratory tract infections like Sinus and throat illnesses
- Heavy voice use
- Cervical dystonia
- Childhood measles or mumps
- Pregnancy and parturition
- Sudden involuntary muscle movements or spasms cause the vocal folds to slam together and stiffen. These spasms make it difficult for the vocal folds to vibrate and produce voice.
- Words are often cut off or are difficult to start because of the muscle spasms.
- Speech may be choppy but differs from stuttering.
- The voice of an individual with adductor spasmodic dysphonia is commonly described as strained or strangled and full of effort.
- Surprisingly, the spasms are usually absent while laughing, speaking at a high pitch, or speaking while singing, but singers can experience a loss of range or the inability to produce certain notes of a scale or with projection.
- Stress makes the muscle spasms more severe.
- Sudden involuntary muscle movements or spasms cause the vocal folds to open.
- The vocal folds cannot vibrate when they are open.
- The open position of the vocal folds also allows air to escape from the lungs during speech. As a result, the voices of these individuals often sound weak, quiet and breathy or whispery.
- As with adductor spasmodic dysphonia, the spasms are often absent during activities such as laughing or singing, but singers can experience a loss of range or the inability to produce certain notes of a scale or with projection.
- This type involves both muscles that open the vocal folds and those that close them and therefore has features of both adductor and abductor spasmodic dysphonia.
- Voice therapy
- Massaging of the neck and cervical muscles
- Deep breathing exercises with chanting “OM”
Spasmodic Dysphonia is also known as "Laryngeal Dystonia‟. It is characterised by the dysfunctional vocal cords which are situated inside our voice box or Larynx. It is a rare neurological disorder and a very difficult one to diagnose at the early stages. Only when other neurological possibilities are ruled out, can a Doctor reach at the diagnosis of Spasmodic Dysphonia. The cause of this disease is not known and there is not much treatment of this condition in the modern medicine. The only temporary solution available as on date is Botox injections. That is an extremely costly affair and still doesn‟t really make the person alright. Hence it is usually not opted by the patients.
The only ray of light has been seen with Homoeopathy in the cases of Spasmodic Dysphonia. Fortunately Dr. Sanket Gupta of AKGsOVIHAMS Medical Centre has been able to treat a few cases successfully and this has made us eager to carry out our clinical research in finding cure for this so-called incurable Neurological Disorder.
Why Homoeopathy seems to work in an "incurable disease‟ must be the first question that springs to anybody‟s mind. The answer lies in the basic principle and science of Homoeopathy. The fundamental of Homoeopathic system of medicine is to maintain the body balance or homoeostasis. The constitutional Homoeopathic medicine that is specific to a specific individual aids in regaining this lost homoeostasis (during illness) and thus ultimately restores the sick to a state of perfect health and harmony.
Along with the constitutional treatment, certain other medicines are also required to prescribe for proper management of a difficult case like spasmodic dysphonia. The aim is to lessen the suffering of the ailing individual with the help of medicines that not only help the patient in relieving some of his symptoms but also do not let the disease progress or deteriorate further.
Some of the medicines that we found useful during the clinical research of Spasmodic Dysphonia are – Gelsemium, Argentum Met., Argentum Nit., Selenium, Cuprum Met., Natrum Mur., Lachesis, Lyssin, Merc. Sol., etc.
Till now we have had some wonderful results in treating this dreadful disease and hope to bring out the cure for sure.
- Speech assessment
- Pulmonary Function Test to rule out any causative factors in the lungs