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Voice & Laryngeal Airway Disorders

A voice disorder is present when an individual expresses concern about having an abnormal voice that does not meet daily needs- even if others do not perceive it as different or deviant (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 1993). 

Laryngeal airway disorders affect the coordination of muscles in the throat (larynx) due to heightened sensitivity or hyperactivity of throat muscles, which can result in the vocal folds closing unnecessarily. This may cause symptoms including difficulty breathing, coughing, throat clearing, globus pharyngeous (lump sensation in the throat), voice difficulties, or swallowing difficulties. 

Physiological Voice Disorders 

Voice disorders that result from alterations in the vocal fold tissues, such as vocal nodules, polyps, edema; structural changes in the larynx due to aging; or neurogenic voice disorders, such as vocal tremor, spasmodic dysphonia, or vocal fold paralysis. 

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Functional Voice Disorders

Voice disorders that result from inefficient use of the vocal mechanism when the physical structure is normal, such as vocal fatigue, muscle tension dysphonia or aphonia, dipliphonia, or ventricular phonation. 

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Inducible laryngeal obstruction (ILO)

ILO (also known as vocal cord dysfunction or paradoxical vocal fold motion) is an inappropriate, transient, reversible narrowing of the larynx in response to external triggers (Halvorsen, et al., 2017). Symptoms include difficulty breathing, throat tightness, chest tightness or pain, cough, or wheezing. 

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Chronic Cough

Chronic cough is a dry cough that has persisted longer than 8 weeks and has not responded to medication. Therapy can help to lessen cough reflex sensitivity to reduce the frequency of coughing by teaching cough suppression techniques, breathing techniques, and vocal hygiene education. 

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