What is muscle tension dysphonia?

Muscle tension dysphonia (MTD) is caused by muscles in and around the larynx (“voice box”) that are overactive. This abnormal tension can occur as a reaction to an underlying condition or on its own. MTD can cause hoarseness, decreased vocal flexibility, increased vocal fatigue, increased vocal effort, and discomfort/pain in your throat. In some instances, it can feel like something is stuck in your throat and may make swallowing difficult.

What causes MTD?

MTD is often caused by a physical reaction to environmental, physical, and/or emotional stressors. These stressors cause the larynx to work harder than it needs to, leading to fatigue, hoarseness, and soreness. 

How is MTD treated?

Voice therapy by a voice-specialized Speech-Language Pathologist is the primary treatment for this disorder. A variety of approaches may be used by a speech-language pathologist to decrease the discomfort associated with voice use and to build healthy and strong voice habits. "