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Voice loss and stress
Flapjaw posted:
Have you heard of a voice disorder caused by stress? More specifically, the tightening of the muscles in the throat causing the vocal cords to be constrained, resulting in a hoarse voice and difficulty speaking?
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
Many things can cause hoarseness, and stress may certainly be a contributing factor for some (not all people). I really don't know if stress is the culprit in your case or not. Stress should ONLY be attributed as a factor if ALL other logical causes have been medically ruled-out.
Flapjaw responded:
Thank you for your response. I have been seeing my ENT doctor on a regular basis. I have had chronic voice issues (very hoarse & strained voice) off and on since September. (No cold, cough or allergies). Initially, after being scoped, it was determined that I had calluses on my vocal cords. Treatment was to talk less, talk slower, and drink lost of fluids. Subsequent check-ups and re-scoping showed improvement in the calluses. Everything seemed to get slowly better, until about a month or so ago, when my voice became so bad that it was a struggle to get any sound out. I felt as if I had to force the air though my vocal cords just to get some sound out. It was frustrating, not to mention exhausting (I am in sales & mgmt so I am required to speak a lot).

In early April I went back to my ENT and he re-scoped me. He had me make various vocal sounds, removed the scope and asked me if I am currently under a lot of stress. Unfortunately, yes I am ... more so than ever before. He said that my issues are now not so much from the calluses (they are healing well) but now more from stress. I am a teeth clencher at night (I have the mouth guard) and carry my stress in my shoulders. He mentioned that this is all related and that the same thing is occurring in my throat which is causing my voice problems. The cure ... de-stress. Sure .. tell that to the 12 people that I am struggling to keep employed, along with the bill collectors that I am struggling to keep at bay, etc etc ... This is why I asked the question, because I just thought it was crazy that stress could be doing this to me. I need my voice, but am struggling to keep it. Will it come back? Other than running off to a deserted island somewhere, what else can I do to get my voice back. HELP PLEASE!
Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
You will have to figure out how you can reduce your stress, if your ENT feels this is the underlying issue. Relaxation therapy, yoga, exercise, seeing a therapist/psychologist, anti-anxiety medications, etc. all can help. Stress has a way of making ANY medical problem worse, and yes, stress has the ability to make us ill in many ways.

As you know, I have no way of examining you, reviewing your case, etc. to concur or dispute what your ENT has told you, and if stress reduction will, indeed, orchestrate the cure in your situation. If you are not buying this explanation, then I suggest you arrange for a second ENT opinion.
mondaytoo replied to Flapjaw's response:
I also am having the same you still suffer from the voice issues or did it get better??
chuck771 replied to mondaytoo's response:
I am having the same issues for 9 months now. I have been under the care of an ENT and was diagnosed with Spasmotic Dysphonia (Adductor) with associated Muscle Tension. Meaning the muscles around my vocal cords are contracting too much and make it difficult to speak. I have had voice therapy and botox injections into my throat. Neither of which have resolved my issues to date. Stress is a factor in my work life as well. I have recently been receiving deep tissue massages for my back, neck and chest areas. I have only had 2 massage sessions however, there is a marked improvement in my voice for about 24 hours after each session. I really did not feel the tension in my back until the Massage Therapist worked it out. Now I can feel the stress mounting as I go through my business day. I hope this is helpful for all who might be trying to find a cure for their similar symptoms.

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