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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fun with vocal chord dysfunction!

( Shutterstock image)

Fun with what? 

Did you know VCD is commonly mistaken for asthma? And just to confuse you a little more, there are people that can have asthma and VCD.

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) list the following symptoms of VCD:

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms of VCD can include:
•    Difficulty breathing
•    Coughing
•    Wheezing
•    Throat tightness
•    Hoarse voice
•    Voice changes

Several months ago, Asthma Doc suspected VCD in daughter Kitty. (She also has asthma.) Sometimes, her throat feels "tight" (instead of her lungs feeling "tight".) Asthma Doc said the best treatment is speech therapy, but he couldn't find a speech therapist locally who specializes in VCD. I found one through our local hospital system and set an appointment.

This week was her first appointment. Speech Therapist said my daughter fits the typical profile: young females between 14-21 who are very athletic. Hmm.

He is going to spend several sessions with her to help her control her breathing so she can be more active. She will be learning special speech therapy techniques and deep breathing.

She could already feel a difference on the first visit. He made her run the stairs at the hospital, then practice the technique he taught her - and it worked! 

Yes, this is only the first visit, but I see hope on the horizon!

Mayo Clinic says your doctor may suspect VCD if:

  • It's harder to breathe in than breathe out when symptoms flare up
  • Asthma medications don't seem to ease your symptoms
  • Results of breathing (pulmonary function) tests or other tests for asthma are normal
 If you wonder if you could have VCD instead of asthma (or in addition to asthma), talk to your doc.

There's something new to learn every day!






  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hello Andrea,

    You have quite a story, thanks for sharing it on your blog! I work at, and I am putting together a Patient Panel event on Nov 1st in NYC. We are looking for adults who live with Asthma (or other respiratory conditions). Since you are an influencer in the Asthma space, I wondered if you would be interested in joining us or know someone who might be interested in participating. Participation will include a dinner and 1/2 day mtg in NYC. More details are below. There is a stipend for their time. And for your help, Healthline would donate to an organization of your choice.

    The event details:

    Healthline is going to host an 1/2 day Patient Panel on behalf of a pharma client of ours.

    Our client is interested in chatting with people living with pain or respiratory issues, or both. We are reaching out to a few people, hope to find 6 for the event. It's a casual Q&A.

    Patient profile:

    Our client is interested in chatting with people who fit the following criteria:
    - living with pain and/or respiratory issues (for example; Asthma, COPD)
    - has pain and/or be polychromic or have a chronic condition
    - takes multiple medications (6+)
    Objectives: The main purpose of event to be gaining a deeper understanding of how we can best build relationships and communicate with people living with, or caring for patients. To hear real stories about what it's like to live with the burden of managing their condition. What type of content is most interesting (tips on living life with the specific condition vs. what’s happening in condition research landscape). What do they need more of, support, education, resources. Discussion around treatment choices and doctor communication.

    Place: NYC – We’ll take care of travel, accommodation and food.

    Event Program Schedule -

    We may have a pre event dinner the night before, this provides an opportunity to get to know each other a bit. People from outside the city will get a night at a hotel. The event will be from 9-noon, then we’ll have a group lunch. Then free time/return home.

    Timing: NOV 1

    Andrea, are you interested? If so, let's talk! Or if not, I appreciate if you could share this with adults you know who have Asthma. Also, if they are interested, I'd love if they could reach out soon. Thanks.

    They can email or call me.


    Ingrid Eberly
    Healthline Media
    VP, Marketing

    1. Hi Ingrid! Sorry for the slow reply, I am planning a conference for next week.

      Let me check my schedule and get back to you!


  3. I kept wondering why my rescue inhaler didn't seem to work. I take out the canister to check the expiration date and it expired in May.

    1. Oh no!!! Did you get another one?

    2. Yes, I will be more vigilant about expiration dates now

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.