It’s difficult to miss the cultural icon that Botox® has become. It’s now the most popular cosmetic treatment performed in the United States by a wide margin.
Yet as popular as this use is, Botox began life as a therapeutic treatment for chronic eye muscle spasms. Its abilities as an anti-aging procedure came later.
That wasn’t the end of the surprises Botox had in store. The diluted neurotoxin also treats conditions as varied as overactive bladder, excessive sweating, and neck spasms. There’s even promise for Botox as a potential migraine remedy for patients with chronic issues.
The specialists at Lakeshore Ear, Nose, Throat Center have their own Botox surprise too. Spasmodic dysphonia is a neurological voice disorder that primarily affects women, typically starting after the age of 30. It’s characterized by a voice that sounds strained, tight, or breaking.
For any ear, nose, or throat disorder, including spasmodic dysphonia, contact the most convenient of Lakeshore Ear, Nose, Throat Center’s five locations in the metropolitan Detroit area.
Researchers don’t fully understand why spasmodic dysphonia develops. Sometimes occurring alongside other movement problems, the condition seems to have genetic links, and it might emerge after you’ve had a respiratory infection like a cold or flu, after a throat injury, or when you use your voice for an extended period. Stress may also be a factor.
Adductor spasmodic dysphonia. the most common of the three types of the condition, develops when muscle spasms force the vocal cords to close involuntarily. Abductor spasmodic dysphonia is the opposite, causing vocal cords to open during spasm.
The third type is very rare, where vocal cords both open and close due to muscle spasms.
Botox for spasmodic dysphonia
Once it emerges, spasmodic dysphonia usually doesn’t get worse, but it probably won’t go away on its own either.
It turns out that Botox is an ideal medication for treating the spasms causing this disorder, though this isn’t surprising to physicians with otolaryngology experience, since Botox has a history of over 30 years of treating a variety of voice disorders.
A small amount of Botox injected into muscles of the larynx blocks the release of neurotransmitters responsible for the involuntary spasms. Effects aren’t immediate, and in some cases, symptoms get worse temporarily before the injection starts to work.
The average duration of effectiveness is about 3-4 months.
The injections require only a short office visit, and you can work with your doctor to find an injection dosage that balances the length of treatment with any side effects you might experience, such as the increase in symptoms immediately after the injection.
A confidence booster
The inability to use your voice effectively can affect you emotionally, since your ability to communicate vocally suffers. It’s not unusual for those with spasmodic dysphonia to isolate themselves due to lack of confidence in their voices.
Botox treatments can restore and maintain people’s natural voices, and studies now confirm this relationship between treatment and emotional state.