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This information was reviewed and approved by J. Tod Olin, MD, MSCS (10/1/2016).

Many people who have a diagnosis of vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) or exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO) may have problems with:

  • Asthma
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Post nasal drip
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR)
  • Exposure to airborne irritants (e.g., pollution, chemicals, allergens)
  • Strong odors, fumes or inhaled chemical exposure
  • Exercise/exertion
  • Stress or anxiety.

Exposure to irritants such as postnasal drainage associated with nasal and sinus congestion and/or reflux associated with GER/GERD & LPR can lead to chronic irritation of the throat.

VCD can also be aggravated by increased chest, shoulder and neck tension.

Chronic cough and frequent throat clearing can further irritate vocal cords contributing to hypersensitivity.

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