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January 13th, 2016

Vocal Cord Disorder Is More Popular Than You Think

by Dr. Jordan Leasure

VCD-EILO also know as Vocal Cord Dysfunction-Exercise Induced Laryngeal Obstruction is often being misdiagnosed as asthma. VCD-EILO is a type of vocal cord dysfunction that is triggered by exercise. Rather than opening, the vocal cord and laryngeal tissue close, affecting the athlete’s breathing pattern, stress level and performance. The apparent symptom is shortness of breath which may relate to asthma.

The best way to diagnosis VCD-EILO is to have an endoscopic study to monitor the vocal cords when they are in the height if exercises. If this can not be done then the physician will make the diagnosis if the athlete meets the parameters of vocal cord dysfunction. Early recognition or early suspicion can be helpful to refer to the appropriate expert. 

VCD-EILO Symptoms                Asthma Symptoms

Breathing sounds high pitched, grating        Breathing sounds like wheezing

Struggle with inhalation                Struggle with exhalation

Tightness in the throat                    Tightness in the chest

  Rapid onset, rapid recovery                Gradual onset, gradual recovery

VCD-EILO Treatment Options

See a speech language pathologist

Adjust breathing from mouth to breathing to nasal 

Practice diaphragmatic breathing and relaxation techniques

Practice breathing-recovery exercises to stop attack from turning into a episode

Asthma Treatment Options

See a physician, allergist or immunologist

Take medication- such as an inhaler

Learn what triggers the asthma and try to avoid as much as possible

Know the early signs of an attack to stop it from turning into a episode
By: Kristin Stromberg, Licensed Athletic Trainer

For more information visit: www.nata.org/nata-news-blob/spl-team-increase-awareness-vocal-cord-disorder

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