Dysphonia and Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Hoarseness (Dysphonia)

A voice that is hoarse or breathy lasting for more than two weeks, may require an evaluation by an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor. If your ENT has recommended voice therapy for a voice issue that you are having, then working with one of our voice specialists may be the answer to fixing the problem! Voice therapy is a program designed to reduce hoarseness or improve quality of voice, effort, endurance, pitch range or loudness. 

A variety of problems can lead to undesirable changes in the voice. They include but are not limited to:

  • Medical or surgical treatment, including trauma to the larynx (“voice box”)
  • Hormone changes
  • Smoking
  • Talking for extended periods of time
  • Excessive coughing
  • Neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Vocal Fold Paralysis
  • Benign vocal fold lesions such as cysts, nodules or polyps 
  • Excessive Muscle Tension 

Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD)

Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD), also commonly known as paradoxical vocal fold motion dysfunction (PVFMD), occurs when the vocal folds close during breathing when they should be in an open position. This obstructive pattern makes it hard for a person to breathe. VCD is often misdiagnosed as asthma. VCD is diagnosed by an ENT doctor.

Some symptoms of VCD include:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • A feeling of tightness in the throat
  • Hoarseness and voice change
  • Stridor
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing in

Our speech-language pathologists can work with an individual who has VCD to improve the symptoms of VCD. Treatment for VCD focuses on a combination of relaxation techniques, vocal hygiene and breathing exercises. 

Link: https://connectedspeechpathology.com/voice-therapy

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