Functional dysphonia

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003 Jun;11(3):144-8. doi: 10.1097/00020840-200306000-00002.


Functional dysphonia-a voice disturbance in the absence of structural or neurologic laryngeal pathology-is an enigmatic and controversial voice disorder that is frequently encountered in multidisciplinary voice clinics. Poorly regulated activity of the intrinsic and extrinsic laryngeal muscles is cited as the proximal cause of functional dysphonia, but the origin of this dyregulated laryngeal muscle activity has not been fully elucidated. Several causes have been cited as contributing to this imbalanced muscle tension; however, recent research evidence points to specific personality traits as important contributors to its development and maintenance. Voice therapy by an experienced speech-language pathologist remains an effective short-term treatment for functional dysphonia in the majority of cases, but less is known regarding the long-term fate of such intervention. Further research is needed to better understand the pathogenesis of functional dysphonia, and factors contributing to its successful management.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Voice Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Voice Disorders / psychology
  • Voice Disorders / rehabilitation*