The key difference between dysphonia and dysarthria is that dysphonia is a medical condition that causes abnormal voice quality or hoarseness in voice, while dysarthria is a medical condition that causes unclear articulation of speech.
Communication disorders can affect any aspect of the communication of a person. These disorders may include voice, speech, language, and hearing disorders. Both dysphonia and dysarthria cause communication problems. Dysphonia is loss of voice or weakness of voice (hoarseness), whereas dysarthria is the speech difficulty that occurs following a major injury or disease to the brain, cranial nerves, or nervous system.
What is Dysphonia?
Dysphonia occurs when the voice sounds very raspy, strained, or breathy. This is a very common condition, and about one-third of people will have this condition at some point in their lives. Dysphonia can be caused by too much voice use, a cold or sinus infection, laryngitis, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), vocal fold hemorrhage, neurological diseases, vocal nodules, cysts or polyps, vocal fold paralysis, laryngeal cancer, recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, and muscle tension. The common symptoms of dysphonia may include hoarseness, variations in voice intensity, absence of voice, coughing, and sore throat when speaking. This condition is more common in people who smoke and those who use their voice, such as teachers, singers, sales representatives, and call center operators.
Dysphonia can be diagnosed through medical history and physical exploration of the larynx. Furthermore, treatment options for dysphonia include resting the voice and modifying bad vocal habits, anti-inflammatory drugs for infection processes, phoniatric rehabilitation and microsurgical removal for nodules, surgical exercises, and subsequent phoniatric rehabilitation for polyps.
What is Dysarthria?
Dysarthria results in slurred or slow speech that is difficult to understand. It occurs when muscles used to control speech become weak. The symptoms of this condition may include slurred speech, slow speech, inability to speak louder, whispering, rapid speech that is difficult to understand, nasal, raspy or strained voice, abnormal speech rhythm, uneven speech volume, monotonic speech, and difficulty moving the tongue, and facial muscles.
Dysarthria can be caused by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, brain injury, brain tumor, cerebral palsy, Guillain-Barre syndrome, head injury, Huntington’s disease, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Wilson’s disease, and certain sedatives and seizure drugs. The risk factors for this condition are stroke, degenerative brain disease, neuromuscular disease, alcohol or drug use disorder, and increased age, along with poor health.
Dysarthria can be diagnosed through imaging tests (MRI and CT scan), brain nerve studies, blood and urine tests, brain biopsy, and neuropsychological tests. Furthermore, treatment options for dysarthria may include prescription medications and speech and language therapy.
What are the Similarities Between Dysphonia and Dysarthria?
- Both dysphonia and dysarthria cause communication problems.
- Sometimes, both may have similar features like nasal, raspy, or strained voice.
- Both conditions can be diagnosed through physical examination.
- They can be treated through specific therapies.
What is the Difference Between Dysphonia and Dysarthria?
Dysphonia is a medical condition that causes abnormal voice quality or hoarseness in voice, while dysarthria is a medical condition that causes unclear articulation of speech. Thus, this is the key difference between dysphonia and dysarthria. Furthermore, dysphonia is a very common condition, whereas dysarthria is a less common condition.
The infographic below presents the differences between dysphonia and dysarthria in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Dysphonia vs. Dysarthria
Dysphonia and dysarthria are two types of communication disorders. Dysphonia is a medical condition that causes abnormal voice quality or hoarseness in voice, while dysarthria is a medical condition that causes unclear articulation of speech. Dysphonia is very common, while dysarthria is not. Hence, this summarizes the difference between dysphonia and dysarthria.
1. “Depiction of a person suffering from Dysphonia (Hoarseness)” By Myupchar.com (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia