Diagnosing Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vocal cord dysfunction occurs when the vocal cords cannot move properly, affecting speech and breathing. Problems with vocal cord function are often confused with asthma because these two conditions cause similar symptoms. Diagnosis from an asthma and allergy specialist can determine the cause of your symptoms so you can seek effective treatment. 

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What Are the Symptoms of Vocal Cord Dysfunction?

Vocal cord dysfunction may cause a variety of symptoms, which include difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing, and a feeling of tightness in the throat. You may also experience involuntary changes in your voice or hoarseness when trying to speak. Because these symptoms can also be caused by allergies, asthma, inhalation of irritants, and other illnesses, you may mistake the cause of your symptoms for another condition. It’s important to visit a doctor for a diagnosis if you experience persistent difficulty breathing or changes in your throat or voice.

How Is Vocal Cord Dysfunction Diagnosed?

The first step in diagnosing vocal cord dysfunction is to visit your doctor and discuss your symptoms. Tell your doctor how long you have been experiencing symptoms and whether they are consistent or change over the course of the year. While allergies and asthma are triggered by environmental changes, vocal cord dysfunction causes more consistent symptoms over time. If your doctor suspects you could be suffering from vocal cord dysfunction, he may also recommend a diagnostic test such as spirometry or laryngoscopy. Spirometry testing measures your ability to inhale and exhale air. It is a common diagnostic tool used to evaluate asthma and the efficacy of treatment. A laryngoscopy exam uses a small, flexible camera to view your vocal cords from inside your throat. This painless exam can expose issues with the vocal cords that will lead to diagnosis and treatment of vocal cord dysfunction.

Allergy & Asthma Specialists offer diagnosis and treatment of allergies, asthma, and lung function at eight convenient locations throughout King of Prussia. Call us today at 1 (800) 86-COUGH to find out more about your treatment options. You can learn more about the conditions we treat by reading through our blog.