Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) or paradoxical vocal fold movement (PVFM) is an abnormal closure of the vocal cords, usually on inhalation. It has been frequently mistaken for asthma. Individuals, however, can have either just VCD or a combination of asthma and VCD. It was first described by physicians at National Jewish Hospital.
Common symptoms include:
Struggle reaction with inhalation, shortness of breath, chest or throat tightness, intermittent hoarseness, numbness or tingling in hands, feet or around the mouth during a breathing episode, chronic cough or wheezing.
Individuals should be examined by a laryngologist to determine the correct diagnosis.
Usually only 3-5 therapy sessions in addition to home practice exercises are needed to learn a technique which prevents abnormal vocal cord closure. Many individuals with VCD who have been previously misdiagnosed as having asthma are able to stop using asthma medications upon recommendation of their doctor and after a course of speech therapy.
The link below was written by a runner with VCD for runners and other athletes and includes comments from Dr. Artigliere.