After quitting the track team in high school due to what she thought were asthma attacks, Laura Hurd started running again as an adult, but soon the attacks came back. Now a speech-language pathologist, she recognized that the symptoms she was experiencing way back when were not asthma but something else — vocal cord dysfunction.
Our vocal cords are designed to block our airways when we swallow to keep food and drink out from going down the wrong pipe and into our lungs. When operating normally, vocal cords only block our airways for that purpose. Paradoxical vocal cord dysfunction, also known as vocal cord or vocal fold dysfunction (we’ll call it VCD), occurs when the vocal cords close when breathing, and thus block the airway. It’s obviously a problem when breathing causes us not to be able to breathe! Read more >>