VCD: Triggers Make an Appointment Refer a Patient Ask a Question Reviewed by J. Tod Olin, MD, MSCS (September 01, 2017) Possible triggers of vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) and are often similar to asthma triggers. However, it is important to know that not all people who experience VCD have asthma. Here are some common triggers for VCD/ILO: Exercise Strong odors or fragrances Smoke Increased stress and anxiety Upper respiratory infections Coughing, laughing or singing Changes in temperature and humidity Sometimes a trigger can’t’ be identified. VCD: Symptoms Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.