With spasmodic dysphonia, the muscle inside the vocal folds will move suddenly and involuntarily. These movements are called “spasms” and can get in the way of the folds vibrating and producing proper sound. This can make speaking more difficult and result in a voice that sounds more strained. If you’ve noticed changes in your voice and feel you may be experiencing vocal tremors and spasms, contact Texas ENT Specialists.

Vocal Spasm Treatment Options

Vocal tremors and spasms are not curable, but patients can find relief in their symptoms through certain treatments. Working with a speech therapist can help you learn how to adapt to the spasms and ensure that they cause fewer interruptions in your speech. Injections of neuromodulators such as Botox® can also help patients find relief by relieving muscle spasms and preventing some of the abnormal movements. These injections can be repeated as needed.

How Vocal Tremors and Spasms Work

When we speak, the air is pushed from the lungs through the vocal folds (vocal cords). This is done with enough pressure to get them to vibrate, which produces our voice. For those with spasmodic dysphonia, these muscles will move involuntarily without warning, making it challenging for the vocal cords to vibrate.

This can cause speech to have unwanted interruptions and make holding a conversation difficult. The number of spasms and tremors a person experiences will vary, as does the severity. In some, they could be small and only cause minor interruptions, but for others, it can make speaking very difficult.

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Symptoms of Vocal Tremors and Spasms

Beyond vocal tremors and spasms, patients may also experience: 

  • Increased effort to speak
  • Difficulty speaking loudly
  • Harsh or strained voice
  • Frequent voice breaks

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About Texas ENT Specialists

Since 1997, Texas ENT Specialists has offered comprehensive ENT care to patients across Houston. We have 15 convenient office locations across the Houston area. At Texas ENT Specialists, we have set ourselves apart in ENT care by offering patients:

Personalized Treatment

Care that is tailored to meet the specific needs of your condition.

Top-Rated Physician Network

We utilize our network of highly-trained physicians to help ensure we achieve the best possible patient outcomes.

Centers of Excellence

Each of our locations is designed to deliver a seamless patient experience from start to finish.

Continuity of Care

Our goal is to achieve long-term relief, not just a quick solution.

Who Is Affected by Vocal Spasms

Those with vocal spasms and tremors typically see symptoms while in their middle age, although symptoms also occur in children or the elderly. 

Women and those who spend a good portion of their day talking are also more likely to experience vocal tremors and spasms. Of those who have vocal spasms, roughly 25% experience tremors while speaking. Symptoms typically progress for one or two years and then stabilize. 

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Vocal Tremors and Spasms FAQ's

Can vocal tremors and spasms be found in children?

Yes. It is possible for children and teens to experience vocal spasms and tremors.

Is there any group or condition that poses a greater risk for spasms and tremors?

Not necessarily. It can affect anyone but is more commonly found in women, those who speak a lot for work, and those in their middle age.

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