Muscle Tension Dysphonia

Muscle tension dysphonia (MTD) occurs when there is excessive muscle tension in the larynx, leading to hoarseness as well as tenderness of the throat.


What Are the Symptoms of MTD?

Other common symptoms of MTD include:

  • Vocal strain.
  • Pitch changes.
  • Pain & discomfort in the throat.
  • Voice fatigue.

What Causes MTD?

MTD is typically caused by voice strain, also called vocal hyperfunction. When you have poor voicing habits, it causes strain in the muscles and structures of the throat. Other causes include upper respiratory infections, exposure to airborne irritants and gastric reflux.

How Is MTD Diagnosed?

An otolaryngologist, also called an ENT doctor, will diagnose your condition using the following methods:

  • Taking a medical and voice history.
  • Examining the throat and neck.
  • Examining the vocal cords with an endoscope.

An ENT may also have a speech-language pathologist (SLP) conduct a voice evaluation.

How Is MTD Treated?

There are several ways MTD can be treated, including:

Voice Therapy

Voice therapy is often successful in treating MTD and is a noninvasive approach, making it a popular recommendation by doctors. It involves working with an SLP, who can help coach you in how to use your voice in a healthy way. Voice therapy takes several weeks and involves working with your SLP during sessions as well as doing take-home exercises.


Depending on the cause of MTD, such as reflux or allergies, medications may be used to manage MTD symptoms.


Call Topeka ENT at 785-233-0500 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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