Objective: Dysphonia is one of the most common side effects of long-term inhaler therapy containing corticosteroids in asthma or asthma–chronic obstructive pulmonary disease overlap (ACO) patients. This common, often reversible side effect is due to the structural changes in the vocal folds resulting from steroid deposition. This study determines the structural changes and voice profile of patients on long-term inhaler therapy by videostroboscopy and perceptual voice profile analysis. It also determines the duration, formulation, and drug delivery system producing the least side effects during therapy. Study Design: Prospective case-control study. Setting: Tertiary care hospital. Methods: In total, 196 patients diagnosed with moderate to severe asthma or ACO were divided into cases (patients on at least 6-month combination inhaler therapy) and controls (newly diagnosed patients not on inhaler therapy) and recruited in the study. They were assessed by videostroboscopy for structural changes and GRBAS (grade of hoarseness, roughness, breathiness, asthenia, and strain) perceptual scale for voice profile changes. Results: The prevalence of dysphonia was significantly higher in cases (62.2%) than controls (27.6%). Prevalence of laryngeal structural changes and voice profile changes were higher in cases. The prevalence of dysphonia and structural changes among cases was much lower when a spacer was used (P <.001). Conclusion: This study adds evidence to the long-term side effects of combination inhaler therapy containing corticosteroids on the larynx as demonstrated by videostroboscopy and perceptual voice profile analysis. It also propagates the use of spacers in drug delivery to reduce the prevalence of side effects during long-term inhaler therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927 - 932
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 05-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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