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Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vocal cord dysfunction is a condition in which the vocal cords abnormally close during inhalation, or exhalation. 

Symptoms of vocal cord dysfunction include:

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Throat Tightness
  • Stridor
  • Hoarseness and Voice Change

Triggers of vocal cord dysfunction include:

  • Odors
  • Smoke
  • Exercise
  • Reflux
  • Stress

Vocal cord dysfunction is associated with:

  • Asthma
  • Reflux
  • Postnasal Drip
  • Athletes
  • Anxiety

Vocal cord dysfunction is often misdiagnosed as asthma due to similarity of symptoms. In contrast to asthma, symptoms of vocal cord dysfunction do not respond to albuterol or inhaled/oral steroids. Importantly, in some individuals, vocal cord dysfunction can coexist with asthma.

Allergists are experts in vocal cord dysfunction and diagnose this condition by history, exam, and rhinolaryngoscopy.

The goals in the treatment of vocal cord dysfunction are to mitigate any exacerbating factors and prevent abnormal vocal cord movement.

Treatment options include:

  • Treatment of Exacerbating Conditions
  • Speech Therapy

By visiting an Allergist, you too can take control of your vocal cord dysfunction and improve your quality of life.