Published: Jan. 20, 2010
Updated: Aug. 4, 2011
Muscle tension dysphonia (MTD) occurs when the muscles around the larynx (voice box) are too tight during speaking, such that the voice box does not work efficiently. A person may use excess tension when speaking, and the voice may feel quite strained.
Some patients complain that the throat feels tight or even feel a muscle ache due to MTD. The voice may sound strained or tight.
MTD can occur with or without a medical condition of the voice box.
The vocal folds may be completely normal except for the excess tension used to produce voice. Or a patient may have a vocal lesion or a vocal fold paralysis and compensate for a voice disorder by pushing and straining the voice, developing MTD.
If you have MTD, voice therapy can help you relax the muscles of the voice box, throat, neck, and face. Therapy can teach you to use adequate breath blow for speech, soon getting you back to using a normal voice.
Before you start voice therapy, you should always have a full evaluation of your voice by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor and a speech therapist.