Reviewed by Speech-Language Pathologists Heather L. Hodges (Gustafson), MA, CCC-SLP, Julie J. Bergquist, CCC-SLP, MA, Kristina Johnston, MA, CCC-SLP

Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) can be treated. Patients don't have to live with the frustration or anxiety of "not being able to get a good breath", chronic coughing, frequent throat clearing or intermittent hoarseness/wheezing.

A speech-language pathologist can provide treatment for VCD. 

Initial Consult

A speech-language pathologist will:

  • Assist in the identification of triggers
  • Provide education on anatomy and function of the throat, larynx and vocal cords
  • Provide education on techniques to prevent and eliminate VCD and regain control
  • Provide techniques to minimize abusive behaviors such as chronic coughing and frequent throat clearing

Follow-up Visits

A speech-language pathologist will:

  • Review and reinforce techniques
  • Provide support and encouragement for consistent application

Irritant Challenge 

A speech-language pathologist will:

  • Provide education/support for implementation of techniques to de-escalate VCD when exposed to triggers

Exercise Challenge 

A speech-language pathologist will:

  • Provide education/support for implementation of techniques to de-escalate VCD when triggered with exercise
  • Common challenges include walking, running, sprinting, biking, skating, swimming, dancing/cheering, wrestling, basketball and baseball

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.