Vocal health is not something pharmacists usually talk about. I am a pharmacist who suffers from a common voice disorder called muscle tension dysphonia. Today, I’m sharing my experience with it to raise awareness about it.
Disclaimer: The information shared in this episode is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any voice disorders. I am not a speech language pathologist (aka speech therapist), voice therapist, or Ear/Nose/Throat (ENT) doctor. If you think you may have muscle tension dysphonia, get help. Start with your primary care provider.
Links from this episode
The Johns Hopkins Health System muscle tension dysphonia page
The Voice Coach Podcast with Nic Redman (Apple Podcasts Link)
🖥Check out Kim’s websites, and connect with her on social media!
✅Business website https://www.thepharmacistsvoice.com
✅The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast https://www.thepharmacistsvoice.com/podcast
✅Pronounce Drug Names Like a Pro © Online Course https://www.kimnewlove.com
✅ACX (Audiobook Narrator Profile) https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A10FSORRTANJ4Z
✅Start a podcast with the same coach who helped me get started (Dave Jackson from The School of Podcasting)! **Affiliate Link – NEW 8-21-22**
Highlights from this episode
What is muscle tension dysphonia, and why should pharmacists care about it?
According to the The Johns Hopkins Health System website, muscle tension dysphonia is a change in the sound or feel of your voice due to excessive muscle tension in and around the voice box. Visit The Johns Hopkins Health System website to learn more about muscle tension dysphonia, including the symptoms.
Before I got help, my voice sounded inconsistent, and my throat hurt. Muscle tension dysphonia affected how consistent the pitch of my voice sounded from the start of an audiobook chapter to the end of the chapter. Once I realized I had a problem, I went to my primary care provider to get help. She referred me to an ENT doctor. The ENT referred me to a voice therapist. The voice therapist helped me slowly recover from my muscle tension dysphonia. I still have relapses, but that’s part of recovery.
Who gets muscle tension dysphonia? Classic examples include professional singers, teachers, pastors, and other people who have to talk a lot in the course of their job.
Why should pharmacists care about muscle tension dysphonia? Because, we’re at risk for it. Many pharmacists talk all day long, especially those who work in a community setting. Awareness about muscle tension dysphonia can be useful. Some day, you, a patient, a friend, or a family member may have this issue and need help.
To maintain my vocal health, I do vocal function exercises, stretch tense muscles, do relaxation exercises, and do breath work every day. I also try to catch myself holding my breath when I concentrate. It’s a weird/bad habit, I know!
If you think you may have muscle tension dysphonia, please talk to your primary care provider.
Thank you for listening to The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast Episode 179!