Help… I can’t Breathe…

Audrey was walking the halls of the school when she started to notice she was gasping for air. She shrugged it off as nothing and just thought it was just because she was walking around more than normal. As months went on her symptoms began to increase and worsen. She went to her local doctor and was asthma tested, and then later on diagnosed with it. She got prescribed an inhaler and went about her day. When symptoms would occur she would take a puff of the inhaler, and it never really helped the symptoms. After numerous visits to the doctor, she finally decided to go to a pulmonologist for some answers. They had mentioned Vocal Cord Dysfunction(VCD). She went to a speech therapist and had the test done. It turns out that it was never asthma and it was in fact VCD.

Asthma and VCD have almost the exact same symptoms, and one can easily be passed off as the other.

VCD Symptoms-

  • Feeling short of breath, or feeling that it’s hard to get air into or out of your lungs
  • Feeling of tightness in throat or chest
  • Frequent cough or clearing of the throat
  • Feeling of choking or suffocation
  • Noisy breathing (wheezing or raspy sound)
  • Hoarse voice

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17623-vocal-cord-dysfunction

Asthma Symptoms-

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of  breath, coughing, or wheezing
  • Whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/asthma/symptoms…/syc-20369653

VCD is the abnormal closing of the vocal cords when you breathe in or out. It’s also known as Laryngeal Dysfunction, Paradoxical Vocal Cord Movement Disorder, or Paradoxical Vocal Cord Motion. Part of how they diagnose this is with a Laparoscopy, where the doctor looks at the vocal cord movements. 

“With this disorder, it is common that they even test all Olympic athletes,” Pulmonologist, and program director of the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Dayton Children’s Hospital Dr. Gary Mueller said. 

With vocal cord dysfunction, there is no medication to treat this, not even a typical inhaler, the only way for it to be treated is by a series of speech and vocal therapy to retrain your vocal cords. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows one’s airways. There is more than one type of asthma, but the most common is athletic-induced asthma. With asthma the common way to treat it is with a breathing inhaler as directed by your doctor.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases…/asthma/…/vocal-cord-dysfunction/faq-20058019

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/asthma