About Vocal Cord Dysfunction
Vocal cord dysfunction, also known as paradoxical vocal fold movement, is part of irritable larynx syndrome -- an upper airway disorder with a range of symptoms, all related to excess irritation of the delicate voice box. During a VCD attack, your vocal cords close involuntarily when they should be open as you inhale, and you may feel as if you are choking or suffocating. Sometimes, sounds may come from your throat when you have trouble inhaling. You may also have a chronic cough. Some people with irritable larynx syndrome don't have difficulty breathing but only have a chronic cough, which can be debilitating in its own right.
Diagnosing and Treating VCD
VCD is frequently misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Often, it's mistaken for asthma. Our voice specialists will use the latest diagnostic tests to identify whether you have vocal cord dysfunction. Our specially trained speech pathologists can help you understand the common triggers for VCD attacks and teach you exercises to help your throat relax, keep your vocal cords open when you inhale, and ease your symptoms.
If you have asthma as well, we coordinate your care with lung specialists at Duke Health who can help you manage your condition.