Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Friday, October 28, 2016

Vocal cord dysfunction means that your vocal cords do not act normally. Instead of your vocal cords opening up when you breathe in and out, your vocal cords close. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this condition 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. Some people are more sensitive to these things than others.

Your doctor may need to do two tests. One is a pulmonary function test to see how well your lungs are working. The second test is flexible laryngoscopy. Your doctor will pass a small, flexible tube through your nose to look at your vocal cords while you breathe.

To treat the problem, your doctor may 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.

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