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...
References and Reading
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