What is Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) / Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM)?
Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) which is sometimes referred to as Paradoxical Vocal Fold Movement (PVFM) is a voice disorder where the vocal folds (cords) close when they’re supposed to be open.
A typical profile of a VCD patient reflects someone who is between the ages of 11-18 (girls more than boys), is highly competitive/successful in sports, and sets high academic and/or performance standards. VCD symptoms may transfer to non-athletic activities, when stressed.
Some patients are misdiagnosed with exercise induced asthma (EIA) instead of VCD and, subsequently, do not report any relief from steroids/inhalers. However, some patients have VCD alone or in combination with asthma, reflux, and/or allergies, and do require medical management of these symptoms as well.
Some of the signs of VCD are:
- Wheezes or makes other respiratory noises.
- Has a feeling of not inhaling enough air when playing sports (soccer, lacrosse, track, swimming, and etc.) then has a quick recovery time (3-5 min).
- Needs to take frequent breaks during the game (“sub-out” during soccer, lacrosse, etc.)
- Finds asthma or allergy medications don’t significantly help with the breathing problem.
- Has a history or symptoms of acid reflux.
- Points to the throat more than the chest to indicate the area of difficult breathing or tension.
How do we help?
We help athletes achieve their maximum potential by helping them participate in sports without suffering from breathing difficulties caused by the improper closing of the vocal folds.
We provide VCD patients high quality therapy techniques for managing their breath control to help them participate fully in their recreational and athletic areas of interest.
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