Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Often MISDIAGNOSED as exercised induced asthma!

Testing

Laryngoscopy Image: 
Using sounds to mimic VCD episode, a specialist can determine if an athlete has VCD.

All procedures are NON-invasive:

Clinical Evaluation: Detailed information is obtained from patient.

Spirometry: Performed by Pulmonary Specialist.  This is the main test doctors generally use to diagnose asthma.  To help determine how well your lungs are working (pulmonary function), you take a deep breath and forcefully breathe out (exhale) into a tube connected to a spirometer. This records both the amount (volume) of air you exhale and how quickly you exhale. If certain measurements are below normal, it may indicate asthma has narrowed your airways.

Laryngoscopy : Performed by a Specialist. This is a medical procedure that is used to obtain a view of the vocal folds and the glottis. Typically, a flexible scope is used to view movement of the vocal cords when a patient is symptomatic. Since VCD is usually not usually present after ceasing exercise, our specialist was able to mimic VCD using sounds created by my daughter while the scope was in place.  


What is Happening? The black areas in the illustration below show the amount of opening to allow for air to pass:

During normal breathing, the vocal cords are apart and optimum amount of air passes through:
During a VCD incident, the vocal cords come together during INHALATION when they should be apart.  The opening is significantly reduced resulting in shortness of breath localized to the throat area:
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