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

The primary reason vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) [or paradoxical vocal fold motion (PVFM)] is confused with asthma is because the two respiratory diseases share similar symptoms.

Patients with VCD may experience the following symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest and/or throat tightness
  • Chronic cough
  • Frequent throat clearing
  • Intermittent hoarseness
  • Wheezing/stridor
  • Difficulty with inhalation and/or exhalation
  • Feeling they are "breathing through a straw"

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