Incidence Of Spasmodic Dysphonia
If you are wondering about the incidence of spasmodic dysphonia, you will be happy to know that this disorder affects only 2% of the population of the United States. By no means is this disorder life-threatening, although it is life-changing for those few who have it. It often strikes people between ages 20 and 50, and it affects women twice as often as it does men. People say losing their voice affects their primary, intimate connection to the entire world and affects nearly every aspect of their lives. Many who suffer from this disorder have had to leave their jobs and have become quite isolated due to the debilitating nature of this condition.
For the handful of doctors who study this rare disorder, it is like pulling teeth to get it diagnosed, understand its causes, and train doctors across America to treat it. It is just not that well understood and a whole lot more research is needed to figure out what does cause this debilitating disorder.
It has been suggested that one of the causes is emotional stress, but if that is the case then I believe that way more than 2% of the population would be suffering from incidence of spasmodic dysphonia. I would tend to disagree with this assumption. But this disorder may very well be causing its share of emotional stress.
With the symptoms being so noticeable you can’t help but stand out in a crowd. What are the symptoms? Spasmodic dysphonia is characterized as a disorder affecting the voice due to uncontrolled spasms, throat tightness, and frequent recurrent hoarseness. The most noticeable symptom is the acute absence of speech. All of a sudden your voice is just gone, for no reason.
Spasmodic dysphonia is grouped together with other disorders in the dystonia family. Dystonia is a group of muscle movement disorders that are characterized by involuntary muscle spasms. Abductor spasmodic dysphonia, adductor spasmodic dysphonia, and mixed spasmodic dysphonia are the three types of this rare disorder and the more common type being the adductor spasmodic dysphonia. The cause of any of the types is unknown.
Spasmodic dysphonia is classified as neurogenic in origin. Because of this fact, the success of all the treatments aimed at the larynx is minimal at best. Research into the whole dystonia family has resulted in some very promising discoveries in the long-term solution to all of these disorders related to dystonia.
There is some derision of opinion in areas of the medical community that think the problem of spasmodic dysphonia is psychogenic, or all in their heads. Some studies agree with this and some other studies do not. Mostly the opinion that it is psychogenic is not upheld by everyone in the medical community.
The incidence of spasmodic dysphonia can occur all by itself but in many cases it occurs with several other neurologic muscle movement disorders such as blepharospasm (blinking excessively and involuntarily closing the eye forcibly), Tardive Dyskinesia (involuntary, repetitious movements of the face, tongue, arms and legs), and spasmodic torticollis (involuntary neck muscle movements).