Voicing Support for Botox
Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:17 PM EDT
It's a use for botox that isn't superficial.
As News 13's Jay Siltzer shows us in today's Health Alert, the drug has given one local woman her voice back, and life.
"I never know what's going to come out when I open my mouth."
It's not what 54-year-old Linda Luke says but how she says it.
Voice spasms have brought her to Park Ridge Health Ear, Nose and Throat where doctor Mike Neuenschwander treats patients with spasmodic dysphonia.
Dr. Mike Neuenschwander, Park Ridge Health Ear, Nose and Throat, "there is a strained or strangled quality to the voice often with choking type symptoms... Sometimes they have trouble swallowing."
Linda Luke, dysphonia patient, "it was to the point it was going to affect my employment because I have to communicate constantly and I was petrified."
Amazingly, what relieved her neurological problem was botox, the drug most commonly associated with anti-aging.
Dr. Neuenschwander, "botox works by injecting a small amount of the toxin into the muscle that is affected. We know in this case the muscle affected is the voice box, and we weaken the muscle ever so slightly with the botox toxin."
For the typical patient, botox injections are required every 2 to 6 months. In Linda's case, it's right in the middle at four months.
Linda, "when the botox starts wearing off that's when I truly understand that this has given me my voice back."
Dr. Neuenschwander, "when they look at you and smile and tell you that their quality of life is dramatically improved, it's quite a good feeling."
Right now, the doctor says botox injections are the only treatment for Linda's problem. Fortunately, they take only about 10 minutes and are covered by insurance.