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Spasmodic Dysphonia and Vocal Tremor


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Spasmodic dysphonia (SD) is a neurologic voice disorder known as a dystonia.

With this condition, the muscles of the vocal folds go into spasm, which prevents air from naturally and easily flowing through. This results in a tight and strained voice, which is a particularly frustrating and debilitating problem as it impacts individuals’ ability to communicate naturally.

Currently, no cure is available but botulinum toxin (Botox®) has been demonstrated to help control the spasms and free patients’ voices.

In addition, we also treat patients with vocal tremor. This is a similar condition to SD but typically affects individuals later in life and may be accompanied by tremors in other body parts like the hands or head.


Physical Exam
Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination and collect a health history to accurately diagnose spasmodic dysphonia.

Fiberoptic Nasolaryngoscopy
During this procedure, your doctor passes a thin, lighted tube through your nose and into the back of your throat to evaluate vocal fold structure and movement during speech and other activities to look for abnormalities.


Botulinum Toxin Injections
Our Botox Clinic is the oldest in the state of Florida and one of the busiest programs in the country. Botulinum toxin (Botox®) is a neurotoxin that has been used since the early 1980s for medicinal purposes. Small, controlled dosages of Botox are safely used to control muscle spasms in a variety of muscles throughout the human body.

Botox injections can usually be done in just a minute or two, without any need for anesthesia or sedation. Using very thin, specialized needles that detect the electrical activity of the muscles in the larynx, the Botox can be delivered precisely and safely. Patients can then resume normal activities and return to work immediately.

Voice Therapy
In mild to moderate cases of spasmodic dysphonia, your doctor may recommend you undergo voice therapy to help reduce your symptoms. In voice therapy, you learn and practice various vocal exercises and techniques that can help heal and improve your voice.

Augmentative Device
In more severe cases of spasmodic dysphonia, you may need an augmentative or alternative device to help you communicate more easily. These devices can amplify your voice in person and over the phone.

Larynx Surgery
If other treatment options have not worked for you, your specialist may recommend you undergo surgery of the larynx to help reduce the severity of your spasmodic dysphonia.

Why Choose UHealth?

Ranked No. 28 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The ranking reflects the team’s dedication to excellence in research patient care and outcomes. Surgeons, audiologists, biomedical engineers, speech pathologists, researchers, and psychologists collaborate with many research programs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to deliver the best possible multidisciplinary care to pediatric and adult ear, nose, and throat patients.

Customized treatment from a multidisciplinary team. We work with you to understand your condition and your vocal goals so we can craft a customized treatment plan that makes the most sense for you. When therapy is needed, we develop a personalized therapy program based on your specific situation and tailored to your needs and goals. Our multidisciplinary team works alongside you for the long term to ensure that you receive comprehensive treatment and get your voice back.

World-class care in an academic health system. We are recognized throughout South Florida and the world as a leader in treating conditions and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. Backed by one of the nation’s top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide you with superior, personalized care and the best outcomes.

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