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Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD)
Gregory M Metz, MD posted:
Vocal cord dysfunction is a condition that causes abnormal movement of the vocal cords. This causes episodes of shortness of breath that come on quickly, can be triggered by activities such as singing, and often do not respond to asthma medications. Vocal cord dysfunction can mimick asthma. Has anyone participating in the exchange been diagnosed with VCD?
sgbl88 responded:
I have both asthma and VCD. It is difficult to diferentiate between the two attacks sometimes.

I have been to a speech therapist and use the techniques she taught me. The big issue for me is that I am a vocalist and singing can trigger my VCD. I am working with a vocal instructor which is actually helping me more than the speech therapist did. I did discus my voice lessons with the speech tharapist and she indicated that voice lessons might help me more than she could and released me. The plus side is that it is a lot cheaper. Insurance doesn't cover it, but a lesson is less than a co-pay anyway.

Tagdixon responded:
Yesterday my son had the Methacholine challenge and it was negative. The doctor said he had VCD. They could not confirm because they could not get the nasolaryngoscopy to work because his sinuses were too swollen. I am unsure about this because the inhalers have always worked for him. Can anyone explain why the inhalers have worked if he does not have asthma.
sgbl88 replied to Tagdixon's response:
That does sound kind of odd. Has he been seen by a ped pulmo? There are other lung diseases that respond some to asthma meds, but they are not asthma.

You could try speach therapy for VCD to see if that helps.

FYI - I don't know if you were expecting a reply from the expert, but Dr. Metz is no longer with WebMD.

Take care.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end... Ye shall seek me, and find [me]
Aqua14 replied to Tagdixon's response:
There was a recent research article posted on Medscape which stated as follows:

"Recent findings A high frequency of negative methacholine tests has been reported in 240 patients given a diagnosis of asthma at the end of the study, many of whom had documented EIB [exercise-induced bronchospasm, aka exercise-induced asthma>. This suggests that a negative methacholine test should not be relied upon to rule out asthma."

The link to the article is here:

I think Sonya's idea to take your son to a pediatric pulmonologist is a good idea. It appears that he still could have asthma despite having a negative result on the methacholine challenge.

Hope these additional thoughts help. Take care & good luck. Judy
Tagdixon replied to Aqua14's response:
Thank you so much for your replies! I was thinking it is the exercise induced asthma but I am just the mom not the doctor. We are waiting for all the paperwork to get to his Ped. doctor and see where to go from here.
An_189840 responded:
I was diagnosed with moderate asthma 4 years ago. I have been having frequents exacerbations due to asthma. I had another PFT done. Which still showed that I had asthma. I went to ENT,allergist, other asthma specialist and still asthma. Most recently I was evaluated by another ENT which showed that I have vocal fold dysfunction as well as asthma.
lal326 responded:
I was diagnosed with asthma in November of 2009. I was 41 years old. I was surprised with the diagnosis since I thought of it as something that you got as a child. As I started treating for it and speaking with my allergy/asthma specialist, she thought I may have vocal cord dysfunction since I was not getting complete releif with medication. I went to see a speech therapist and was diagnosed with it. As Sonya, I was given techniques to help when it flares up. It is hard to tell the difference. So, I use the inhaler and the breathing techniques together. Together I works.
lal326 replied to An_189840's response:
An_175336 - You may want to see a speech therapist. She can teaching you some breathing techniques to help with this. It has helped me. I also have both.
cburns44 responded:
am 13 years old and i have VCD. i have been hospitalized 3 times, taken by ambulance 3 times as well. i am supposed to go to speech therapy. i have made my appointment but i havn't gone yet. my main triggers are exercise, stress, and singing. the singing one is a BIG issue for me because singing is my passion and i am in chorus and upper-level chamber choir at school. i am not sure what to do. my friend brianna also has VCD but she has control over it. when i get an episode, i try to breath deeply and i go to the nurse and get 2 puffs of albuterol, which sometimes helps, but i think it is more the time. anyone else?! i also have severe eczema. are the two connected!? i have noticed that when i have a VCD episode my eczema get red, as does my face.

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