Muscle Tension Dysphonia

Muscle Tension Dysphonia

What is muscle tension dysphonia?

Muscle tension dysphonia (MTD) is caused by muscles in and around the larynx (“voice box”) that are overactive. This abnormal tension can occur as a reaction to an underlying condition or on its own. MTD can cause hoarseness, decreased vocal flexibility, increased vocal fatigue, increased vocal effort, and discomfort/pain in your throat. In some instances, it can feel like something is stuck in your throat and may make swallowing difficult.

What causes MTD?

MTD is often caused by a physical reaction to environmental, physical, and/or emotional stressors. These stressors cause the larynx to work harder than it needs to, leading to fatigue, hoarseness, and soreness.

How is MTD treated?

Voice therapy by a voice-specialized Speech-Language Pathologist is the primary treatment for this disorder. A variety of approaches may be used by a speech-language pathologist to decrease the discomfort associated with voice use and to build healthy and strong voice habits.


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