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Treating Vocal Fold Insufficiency and Dysphonia

Appropriate treatment options for dysphonia, which may be caused by vocal fold insufficiency, include:

  • Voice therapy, to improve phonation1:
    • Voice therapy can be used as an adjunct to surgical methods
  • Education and therapy to eliminate behaviors harmful to phonation1
  • Therapy to improve behavior-related phonatory problems, such as reduced voice volume in Parkinson's disease

Appropriate treatment options for vocal fold insufficiency include:

In addition to diagnostic parameters, the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery guidelines discuss evidence-based studies to reduce the use of once-common but inappropriate treatments. Historically, these treatments had been used without clinical evidence, but growing data have shown that they may not be as efficacious as once thought or may be associated with adverse events that outweigh the benefit.1

These guidelines recommend that the following therapies should not be prescribed routinely:

  • Corticosteroids, due to adverse events1 and an overwhelming lack of evidence of efficacy1
  • Antibiotics, due to ineffectiveness and a preponderance of harm that outweighs benefit1
  • Anti‐reflux medication—without signs or symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)—due to the known adverse effects and limited evidence of benefit1

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  1. Schwartz SR, Cohen SM, Dailey SH, et al. Clinical practice guideline: hoarseness (dysphonia). Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009;141(3 suppl 2):S1-S31.