I’ve improved people who often experience choking, discomfort while drinking, hyperfunctional/functional dysphonia, shortness or difficulty taking a breath, and those who feel squeezing or tightness of the throat.
Two main causes always stand out, after I examine them thoroughly.
The first, is the depth of the larynx. This diagnosis is referring to when the muscle hardens, and stops moving the larynx only when vocalizing. Or, also visible in the diagnosis, the muscle hardness is constant and the larynx increases in depth, while vocalizing and not while vocalizing.
That’s the case primarily for the increased depth, as far as I know.
However, even when not vocalizing, the muscle hardness is one and half to three times more than people who have no problems with their voice.
These results come forth by measuring the muscle with a muscle hardness tester, which is always the first test I perform during an examination.
Results and accurateness does vary, due to the fact I have to carefully measure the sternohyoid muscle specifically with the contours used to move the larynx whilst avoiding causing choking. This information is a very important point of reference I factor into my final diagnosis.
I perform this test, and check by measuring several times.
When measuring the sternohyoid muscle with the hardness tester, people who have no problem with their voice, display results 20 tones or less. (Tone is referred to as the given units measured for hardness)
While, results are displayed in the range of 30 – 60 tones with people who have problems with their voice.
Those who have Spasmodic Dysphonia will show tone results ranging from 5 – 80, depending on individual variations. Although the measurement of 5 tones sounds normal, it is not. Because, when the voice is let out the muscle binds with first sound, producing a spasm. This is a phenomenon which is associated with the symptoms of “choking, difficulty letting out the voice, and/or cracking of the voice.”
In cases of Aphonia, where there is no voice production at all, the muscles also harden. This issue can also be related to extreme stress. The measurement was 50 tones when voiceless, and has never been under 50; this is because of the position of the deep larynx.
Another reasonable factor is that the expiratory pressure is decreased. This means that the breathing is shallow. People who said they suffered choking, discomfort while drinking, hyperfunctional/functional dysphonia, shortness or difficulty taking a breath, and those who feel squeezing or tightness of the throat, all also had shallow breathing.
I can guess two reasons that could cause this issue:
One of two is that the exhalation flow rate is being decreased due to a physical phenomenon (stenosis, abnormal narrowing), in turn reducing the expiratory pressure, resulting in choking. This means that the air is having difficulty coming out, due to a narrow exit path.
If this goes on so long, the person loses the sensory to increase and control their expiratory pressure, constantly producing a smaller voice and becoming a vicious cycle.
The second reason is that, people who originally have decreased expiratory pressure for some reason, feel the need to strain the muscule when letting out their voice. Mainly because their breathing is small and short, they just can’t vibrate their vocal chords with the correct amount of strength.
As a result, they feel choking and/or suffer from hypertonic phonation.
A long time ago, I had the same problem. I said, “it was hard for me to let out my voice due to choking,” to a doctor … he said, “it’s just my imagination or chronic bronchitis,” and kicked me out!
I had been experiencing this for a long time.
I did not mean that I was not able to speak, only that I could not let out my voice as much as I wanted to and was becoming very frustrated because of this.
Please understand and be aware if you or someone around you has the same issue.
Note1: A large lung capacity does not necessary equal to large/increased expiratory pressure. Lung capacity mostly accounts for intra-thoracic size. Expiratory pressure is controlled solely by breathing.
As I mentioned before, even if you have an ordinary breathing capacity, you can increase the expiratory pressure and sing a song with a great strong voice.
Contrary to the above, sometimes those who have a large body and rib cage still struggle with a small/soft voice. Even if you have increased expiratory pressure, you cannot produce a good voice unless you can control the expiratory pressure well enough to utilize your vocalization.