Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) or paradoxical vocal fold movement happens when the vocal cords don’t open properly. VCD is commonly confused with asthma because symptoms are similar. Unlike asthma, VCD is NOT an allergic reaction beginning in the immune system.

Triggers for VCD

The following are common triggers associated with vocal cord dysfunction.

  • lung irritants
  • exercising
  • viral infection
  • GERD

Symptoms of VCD

The following are common symptoms of an vocal cord dysfunction.

  • difficulty breathing in
  • wheezing
  • coughing
  • voice hoarseness
  • throat tightness
  • voice changes
  • asthma medications don’t relieve symptoms

Diagnosis and Treatment

Vocal cord dysfunction can be diagnosed by a physician, allergist or immunologist using the following:

  • physical examination
  • medical history
  • spirometry
  • larynoscopy

Treatment for vocal cord dysfunction usually begins with speech therapy and breathing exercises. Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of vocal cord dysfunction or to schedule an appointment with an allergist or asthma specialist, call 1-800-778-9923 or visit the Allergy & Asthma Center location near you.