Dysphonia: Why is My Voice so Raspy?

Any condition that affects the normal sound of your voice is classified medically as dysphonia. Most commonly, it means you experience a hoarse, raspy, or weak sound. It could be temporary, such as part of the symptoms of a cold or throat infection, and sometimes there’s no observable cause for the voice change.

Treatment of dysphonia depends on the type you have, the causes behind it, and several other factors, but you can benefit from a personalized voice therapy program or other treatment provided by the voice specialists at Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates. Here’s what you need to know about dysphonia.

More than one type

While simply having a sore throat could give you dysphonia, the term is usually reserved for chronic conditions that require more than simple rest and recovery to resolve. Two dominant forms of the condition are functional and spasmodic dysphonia.

Functional dysphonia

When there’s no sign of anatomical or neurological impairment that could cause voice changes, you have functional dysphonia. This condition has two subtypes:

Though the causes of functional dysphonia aren’t always known, sometimes it’s associated with major periods of stress in your life, or with viral illnesses such as mumps or measles. You’ll most likely experience a raspy, rough speaking voice, which may also be breathy, soft, and unstable, particularly with hypofunctional dysphonia.

Spasmodic dysphonia

Generally, a lifelong disorder most frequently affecting women between the ages of 30 and 50, spasmodic dysphonia can affect the occasional word, or it can completely disrupt your ability to speak. There are three subtypes of spasmodic dysphonia:

Spasmodic dysphonia is thought to be neurological in origin and it may accompany other movement disorders. These types of dysphonia may start after an upper respiratory infection, after long periods using your voice, or due to the effects of stress.

Other conditions affecting the voice

Illnesses, procedures, or injuries sometimes affect your voice. These can include:

When you suspect that your raspy voice isn’t getting better, it’s time to call Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates. Treatments range from vocal exercise therapy to strengthen and restore the muscles used for speech, to more aggressive treatments, such as medications or botulinum toxin injections. In rare cases, surgery on a nerve to the voice box may be considered.

There are plenty of options to help you regain your voice. Call the most convenient location of Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates today. You can also send the team a message here on their website.

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