Thursday, July 7, 2016
Causes & Treatments for Spasmodic Dysphonia Disorder.
Interestingly enough, the voice of the sufferer is greatly compromised; however, it is only a symptom and not the cause. The causes could be induced by emotional, psychological and neurological traumas.
For example - a tragic event happens and a switch between automatous actions that are coordinated between the brain and the control function of the neck, thyroid and larynx become affected. As a result, the ‘voice user’ experiences uncontrollable spasms within the neck structure/muscles and other areas that may not have been documented if not searched for.
Of course, it could also be due to the misuse and abuse of ones’ voice, as well as via contacted viruses such as a severe cold, flu, strep throat and whatnot.
I personally compare this disorder to epilepsy and (in my books) I call it “Vocal Epilepsy”
The traumas also could be caused by negative environmental surroundings by means of air-born pollution. Chemicals that effect (and sometimes degrade) the cells within the brain which control autonomous motor functions within the body) can result to spasmodic dysphonia as well.
Also, chemical agents like industrial strength detergents, bleach, and dangerous drugs like meth amphetamines, non-professional man-made hallucinogens, etc, can play a role of causing a environmentally-induced versions of spasmodic dysphonia.
Now let’s find out about non-surgical treatments for this disorder.
My answer is yes, it is; but with great difficulty and only if it is not passed stage one. or maximum, two. I categorize this disorder within 4 stages, (just like cancer, God forbid). So, if it is in the light or medium stage (stage one or two), the speech of the sufferer can be greatly improved.
When it comes to stage 3 (and especially stage 4) when you hardly hear a straight (without grate “stuttering” in a manor of speaking) speech, it is nearly impossible to even remotely improve the ones’ condition.
Sometimes, spasmodic dysphonia disorder arises from the condition, which is known as Muscle Tension Dysphonia. In one of my previous blogs, I described the case where the person with muscle tension dysphonia disorder contacted me last year, but for whichever reason, she did not take me up on my offer to give her instruction and treatment (when it still was possible to account for some meaningful results). This year, she contacted me again and told me that now she has been diagnosed with Spasmodic Dysphonia. I asked her to give me a call before I would give her my commitment. She did and I could hardly understand a word she had been saying.
She sounded like her condition now would be between stage 3 and 4.
With all honesty, I told her that I would not be able to attend to her case with guarantee of any measurable results. Unfortunately, in that particular case, the Non-Surgical (and I believe, even Surgical) treatment of any kind will be obsolete now.
There is a saying: “The time is healing”; but sometimes the time passed when the repair could still be done, can also be ‘killing’, brining this serious condition to the point of no return.
Via special speech and breathing exercises, coupled with the certain body movements, I can knock down a good amount of spasms and teach the person how to speak above them.
By learning a new application for the use of the voice, the person learns how to lift the voice off of the vocal box and off of the vocal cords and use a different set of muscles such as the sinus cavities (facial muscles) which will begin to work in full conjunction and coordination of the abdominal muscles for the greater support of the ‘lift’ of the sound.
The sound will become much clearer, less spasmodic and more pronounced and announced. The special breathing exercises and humming special sounds will help immensely to reduce spasms. All of that could bring a person close to a definitive recovery; provided, of course, that the disorder is not too far advanced.