Dysphonia associated with inhaled steroids

J Voice. 2000 Dec;14(4):581-8. doi: 10.1016/s0892-1997(00)80014-4.


The use of inhaled steroids in the treatment of asthma is not without its complications. In some studies up to 50% of such patients complain of oropharyngeal and voice problems. We present the findings in 22 patients complaining of dysphonia who underwent videostrobolaryngoscopy (VSL) and computerized speech analysis. A number of abnormalities were identified. On VSL, these included mucosal changes (noted in 58%), apposition abnormalities (noted in 43%), and supraglottic hyperfunction (noted in 40%). On speech analysis, cycle-to-cycle irregularity was frequently noted (mean of 39%). Maximum phonation time was reduced in 73%. Our findings did not confirm the widely held views that steroid dysphonia is due primarily to a fungal infection or a steroid-induced adductor myasthenia of the larynx. A larger-scale prospective study is indicated.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / drug therapy
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted
  • Female
  • Glottis / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Laryngoscopy
  • Larynx / pathology
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Middle Aged
  • Phonation
  • Pilot Projects
  • Steroids / administration & dosage*
  • Steroids / adverse effects*
  • Steroids / therapeutic use
  • Vocal Cords / pathology
  • Voice Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Voice Disorders / diagnosis
  • Voice Disorders / physiopathology
  • Voice Quality


  • Steroids