Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) is a condition that often imitates Excercise Induced Asthma. It actually is the result of abnormal closing of the vocal cords when they are supposed to open. It is often linked to anxiety, depression, and a “Type A” personality. Upper respiratory tract infections, allergens, irritants, post nasal drainage, reflux and excercise can often act as triggers. It is important that we take a good history and look at the voice box and upper airway. we often do that with a small lighted scope in the clinic. We often will check a breathing test (pulmonary function test) to rule out concommitant asthma.
The treatment is largely therapy. Swallow breathe techniques and other relaxation therapies are immensely helpful. Controlling asthma, reflux, and other exposures is also helful.