Vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) is a functional condition of the vocal folds characterized by aberrant cord adduction, which causes respiratory symptoms during inspiration. VCD presents diagnostic difficulties for clinicians since it can resemble and coexist with asthma. Dyspnea, throat tightness, dysphonia, and wheezing or stridor are the most prevalent symptoms of VCD. Several reasons have been proposed for VCD, including vocal cord inflammation caused by irritating processes such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and following nasal discharge, however, exercise and inhaled irritants are also known triggers. Asthma, mental diseases, irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic pain syndromes are common comorbidities. The gold standard for diagnosing VCD is the direct sight of the aberrant vocal cord adduction by laryngoscopy, while additional approaches are being investigated. Several screening questionnaires have recently been designed to help in the diagnosis of VCD. The primary stay of VCD treatment necessitates a multimodal strategy that includes identifying triggers, treating concomitant conditions effectively, and implementing breathing exercises and/or speech therapy.
Education for both patients and health care professionals on the signs and symptoms of VCD, as well as how they vary from asthma, can minimize needless emergency department visits, health care consumption, and save patients from receiving potentially dangerous therapies.