Muscle tension dysponia is characterized by a strain of the larynx due to inappropriate use of the muscles above and around the vocal cords. By straining, squeezing, and pushing those muscles inappropriately, the vocal cords are unable to function properly.
Common in people that use their voice frequently, symptoms of muscle tension dysphonia include:
- Rough or hoarse voice
- Sense of strained, effortful voice
- Voice which gets worse with progressive use, then may get better with rest
- Throat pain with voice use (in patients with chronic muscle tension)
Diagnosing Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD)
Muscle tension dysphonia is typically diagnosed by stroboscopy – a specialized vocal cord exam that uses a strobe light to visualize vocal cord vibration and function. Muscle tension dysphonia may exist without any structural damage of the vocal cords and may be missed on routine exam unless an exam of function reveals the muscle strain surrounding the vocal cords.
Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD) Treatment
Muscle tension dysphonia is typically treated through voice therapy. The goal of voice therapy is to decrease muscle tension by teaching the patient how to use their voice correctly.
Make an Appointment
Contact the Johns Hopkins Voice Center by calling 443-997-6467 (443-997-OHNS).