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What Does Muscle Tension Dysphonia Mean?

Dysphonia is the medical term used by ENT Specialists and Speech Pathologists to describe a voice which is husky or strained.

Muscle tension dysphonia means that the vocal folds are normal but the area above the vocal cords is constricted and tight, vocal fold vibration takes more effort and that this increase in effort contributes to your voice symptoms. The tightness or strain may be in response to emotional stress or be just a habit which persists even though the period of stress has passed.

Muscle tension can cause discomfort, pain, vocal fatigue and change the quality and durability of your voice. You may feel discomfort in the jaw, throat, tongue or neck.

Muscle tension dysphonia may be also present when a patient has nodules, polyps or vocal fold paralysis.

Forcing your voice when you have a cold can result in developing a pattern of muscle tension.

Significant emotional stress can result in a temporary loss of voice as a result of muscle tension.

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