Introduction: Dysphonia is considered a major symptom of unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP). Besides this, many patients complain of further symptoms such as dysphagia and dyspnea, which might not be expected to such an extent. The aim of this survey was to elucidate these symptoms in a cohort of patients with UVFP. Subjects and Methods: Sixty-three patients (22 men, 41 women) suffering from UVFP were interviewed. Therefore we developed a questionnaire dealing with each of the three symptom categories: voice production, swallowing and breathing. Results: All of the surveyed patients reported voice impairment, almost 60% complained of swallowing problems after the onset of paralysis. Seventy-five percent reported a subjectively impaired breathing sensation, not just phonatory dyspnea but during everyday physical activity as well. Discussion: Our study revealed a certain discrepancy between objectively assessed laryngoscopic findings and subjective symptoms. A majority of patients suffered from an impairment in each of the three laryngeal functions (dysphonia, dysphagia and dyspnea). The latter two differ from the classic approach to this condition but must be considered as well in clinical diagnostics and therapy.

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