Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vocal cord dysfunction causes the vocal cords to fully or partially close during inhalation or exhalation for short periods of time.

Symptoms of Vocal Cord Dysfunction

The symptoms of vocal cord dysfunction or paradoxical vocal cord motion include:

  • Coughing
  • Noise while breathing in or inspiratory stridor
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the throat

Diagnosing Vocal Cord Dysfunction

The best way to diagnose vocal cord dysfunction is for a laryngologist to perform a flexible fiber-optic nasolaryngoscopy during an episode. By observing the movement of the vocal cords, the physician is better able to detect the problem. However, a detailed history and input from a pulmonary specialist is often all that is required for an accurate diagnosis.

Treating Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Laura Toles, M.S., CCC-SLP, teaching a rescue technique to a patient with vocal cord dysfunction.

Speech therapy is the first line of treatment for vocal cord dysfunction. Rescue techniques can be used and are often empowering for patients with vocal cord dysfunction.

Request an Appointment

If you experience difficulty breathing, we can help. To schedule an appointment with one of our laryngologists, or for more information about our services, call 214-645-8300.