Vocal cord dysfunction is a type of syndrome that affects a person’s vocal cords. The vocal cords are folds in the throat tissue that help create sounds used for speech. The vocal cords also help to control airflow to the lungs and to prevent choking from happening. When vocal cord dysfunction occurs, the vocal cords tighten up and are unable to open properly. As a result, the individual may experience asthma-like symptoms.
The symptoms of vocal cord dysfunction are very similar to the symptoms of an asthma attack. Individuals with vocal cord dysfunction may wheeze, feel short of breath, and a tight feeling around the chest and neck area. The person may cough a lot, clear their throats frequently, and have a hoarse sounding voice. Those who suffer from this condition will have trouble taking in breaths. The condition is triggered by several culprits. An upper respiratory illness, exercise, cold weather, and certain lung irritants can all cause it. It is crucial to note that vocal cord dysfunction is not caused by an immune system reaction and does not affect the lower airways.
While the symptoms and triggers of vocal cord dysfunction are like asthma, the treatment methods are different. Initially, the condition may be diagnosed as asthma. However, once it becomes clear that asthma medications are not working to alleviate the symptoms a new treatment alternative needs to be established. One popular way to combat symptoms effectively is by practicing special breathing exercises that help to relax the vocal cords and throat. It is also important to avoid the irritants that trigger symptoms. Resting the voice as much as possible, drinking plenty of fluids, and reducing stress in one’s daily life is also helpful. Speech therapy specialists can help those who suffer from vocal cord dysfunction strengthen their vocal cords against odors, exercise, temperature changes, and other external factors.
Get In Touch with Us to Find Out More
To develop a deeper understanding of what vocal cord dysfunction is, and to learn how to treat and manage this syndrome efficiently, feel free to reach out and make an appointment with Columbia Asthma and Allergy Clinic! At our convenient locations in Washington (Fisher’s Landing, Salmon Creek, Longview, Bellevue), California (Oakland, Fremont, Redwood City, Sunnyvale, San Leandro, San Mateo), and Oregon (Clackamas, Gresham), our caring and devoted team of professionals will be pleased to explain this condition in greater depth and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!