New Therapy Restores Voices

KILLER RESTORES VOICES was the headline on the article in the paper. A bit dramatic perhaps, but true just the same. For patients with Spastic Dysphonia or Laryngeal Dystonia, the killer works miracles.

There are many different causes for voice disorders and hoarseness. Most people are aware that cancer can arise on the voicebox and the first sign of a malignancy such as this may be a change in the voice. Thyroid dysfunction, allergy, voice misuse, and sinus drainage may all affect the vocal cords and change the clarity of the voice. Voice restoration may require medication for allergies, or may require specialized laser microscopic laryngeal surgery. For some patients, a new treatment may be just what the doctor ordered.

Laryngeal Dystonia, or Spastic Dysphonia as some older information labels it, is characterized by a choking type of voice, which may create extreme discomfort and embarrassment for the sufferer. A neurological disorder, muscular Dystonia can affect muscles in the face or in the extremities and in rare circumstances in the laryngeal and pharyngeal muscles in the throat.

BOTOX is the name of a drug which can be used to miraculously reverse Dystonia. When injected into the muscles affected by the spastic dystonic dysfunction, the muscles can , in just a few seconds, regain smooth coordinated function without the tremor like spasms. In patients with laryngeal dystonia, the restoration of smooth voice can be truly dramatic.

Botox is the drug made from a toxin, produced by the bacterium, Clostridium botulinum. It is the toxin which causes the illness from contaminated food known as Botulism.

Botox injections are helpful but are not the proper treatment for everyone with hoarseness. The medicine is very potent, and should be used with extreme caution. The effect may last for some patients for years, and for others only weeks. Repeat treatments may be necessary but should be done with caution since dosing must be individualized for each patient.

Dr. Love is board certified by the American Board of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and has subspecialty training Allergy, Voice disorders, and in Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery. If you have questions about Hoarseness, or BOTOX or about new techniques in facial plastic surgery, contact Dr. Love and his staff at the Otorhinolaryngology Associates, (334) 281-6327.

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