Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Monday, April 19, 2010

Vocal cord dysfunction is a hidden, yet common, condition of throat closure or choking sensation that can strike any age. This condition can cause sudden, severe episodes of breathing difficulty. Dr. Edward Hill discusses vocal cord dysfunction in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Vocal cord dysfunction occurs when your vocal cords partially close while you are breathing. This may cause shortness of breath, tightness in your throat or a choking feeling. Vocal cord dysfunction can sometimes be mistaken for asthma.

Many things can cause this problem. It may happen when you breathe in air that has irritants in it. These may include smoke, dust or ammonia. Other possible causes include acid reflux, stress, anxiety and exercise.

Your doctor may perform a pulmonary function test to see how well your lungs are working. A flexible laryngoscope may also be used to look at your vocal cords.

You should avoid anything that may be causing your symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe medicine to reduce stomach acid, lower anxiety or control allergies.

If you keep having symptoms, your doctor may suggest that you see a speech therapist. He or she can teach you how to breathe more easily and help you relax.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.