Dysphasia is the medical term for difficulty in the ability to use language; aphasia is the complete loss.

In reality, laryngitis may be classed as a dysphasia, as indeed may any condition ranging from inflammation, infection or even tumour that affects the vocal cords and throat. It is wiser, however, to rule out any serious illness of the area or of the nervous system when dealing with an inability to speak.

Dysphasia may be created by damage to the nervous system, in particular to the speech centres, by events such as stroke, encephalitis, meningitis and diseases of the nervous system such as motor-neurone disease. These need to be established.


Any dysphasia that persists or does not have an obvious cause should be reviewed by a GP.

Follow through with specialist investigations, including CAT and MRI scans, to rule out or establish the cause. A complementary medical practitioner can then be confronted once a firm diagnosis has been made.