Voice, Breathing, and Swallowing Concerns– Recent Research from the EDS Clinic
Just as we have a very active role diagnosing and treating patients, our research agenda is equally important to improve our understanding of these disorders. In this research update, we will discuss new findings related to problems with voice, breathing, and swallowing in the hEDS/HSD population.
Over the past year, we asked patients coming into our EDS clinic to complete an intake questionnaire to help determine appropriate referrals to other specialists. Some questions addressed problems with voice, breathing, and swallowing to help identify patients who may be appropriate for a referral to our Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) providers – specifically a laryngologist and speech pathologists who specialize in voice, upper airway, and swallowing evaluation and therapy. We specifically asked about problems with hoarseness, short-lived episodes of breathing difficulty causing a sound on inhalation, and coughing when eating and/or drinking. We found that 22.5% of patients diagnosed with hEDS or HSD reported hoarseness, 33.9% of the same group of patients reported coughing when eating/drinking, and 27.0% reported short-lived episodes of breathing difficulty causing a sound on inhalation. We compared these percentages to previously-reported prevalences of similar symptoms in the general population, and found a significantly higher rate in our hEDS/HSD patients than was previously reported in the general population. We believe this suggests these issues are more prevalent in patients with hEDS and HSD. Further research is needed to determine associated factors that may contribute to an increase of these symptoms in this population. Additionally, further research should address the best treatment modalities and therapy techniques for people with hEDS and HSD. Stay tuned here for further research updates from the Mayo Clinic EDS Clinic. Have you had any issues with your voice, breathing or swallowing? Please share below!
Author: Stacey Menton, MM, MA, CCC-SLP