Encyclopedia of Autism Spectrum Disorders

Living Edition
| Editors: Fred R. Volkmar


  • Elizabeth R. EernisseEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6435-8_1656-3


Short Description or Definition

Aphonia is the complete loss of voice, typically due to an acquired cause such as vocal cord paralysis or damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve. In aphonia, phonation (i.e., the process by which sounds are produced through the vibration of the vocal folds) is completely impaired, in contrast to dysphonia in which sound production is limited but not completely absent. Individuals with aphonia are only able to whisper when attempting to speak.


While specific epidemiologic estimates of the incidence of aphonia are rare, generally speaking, approximately 7.5 million people in the United States demonstrate difficulty with vocal use. Voice disorders are more prevalent in individuals working in occupations that are characterized by frequent or intense vocal use.

Natural History, Prognostic Factors, and Outcomes

Some of the known causes of aphonia include laryngeal or thyroid cancer, vocal fold paralysis, nodules or polyps...

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References and Reading

  1. Aronson, A. E., & Bless, D. M. (2009). Clinical voice disorders (4th ed.). New York: Thieme.Google Scholar
  2. ASHA. (2008). Incidence and prevalence of speech, voice, and language disorders in adults in the United States: 2008 edition. Retrieved from 1 May 2011 www.asha.org/research/reports/speech_voice_language.htm
  3. Boone, D. R., McFarlane, S. C., Von Berg, S. L., & Zraick, R. I. (2009). The voice and voice therapy (8th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  4. Johnson, A. F., & Jacobson, B. H. (2007). Medical speech-language pathology: A practitioner’s guide. New York: Thieme.Google Scholar
  5. NIDCD. (2010). Statistics on voice, speech language from NIDCD. Retrieved from 1 May 2011 www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/vsl.asp
  6. Rammage, L., Morrison, M., & Nichol, H. (2001). Management of the voice and its disorders (2nd ed.). San Diego: Singular.Google Scholar
  7. Stemple, J., Glaze, L., & Gerdeman Klaben, B. (2000). Clinical voice pathology - Theory and management (3rd ed.). San Diego: Singular.Google Scholar
  8. Verdolini, K., Rosen, C. A., Branski, R. C., & Andrews, M. L. (2006). Classification manual for voice disorders I. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Language and LiteracyCardinal Stritch UniversityMilwaukeeUSA