Category: General

Improving Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vocal cord dysfunction, also known as VCD, is more likely to be found in women than in men, and the common age of detection is in persons 20 to 40 years of age, although it has been detected in children as young as eight years of age. It is often mistaken for asthma, and at times can co-exist with this, meaning that the sufferer has BOTH conditions. Due to the similarities between VCD and asthma, it is possible that unnecessary medication may be prescribed, until the correct diagnosis of VCD is made. Unfortunately, 59 percent of patients are often misdiagnosed with Asthma, prior to finding out that they actually have VCD.

VCD is a condition in which airway obstruction leads to respiratory distress, due to improper vocal cord motion. In VCD the vocal cords don’t function as they should, and instead of the vocal cords opening when you breathe, they close, making it harder for you to get air into your lungs. Patients often describe excessive wheezing, choking sensations, cough and throat tightness and they can experience shortness of breath, chest and throat tightness, chronic cough, frequent throat clearing and voice hoarseness.

A detailed patient history is needed to differentiate between the diagnosis of asthma and VCD. VCD sufferers generally describe more difficulty in inhalation rather than exhalation, along with a sensation of throat tightness or choking. Pulmonary function testing and laryngoscopy usually helps in determining the correct diagnosis.

VCD Treatment

VCD is treatable. Patients are usually referred to a speech-language specialist for help and treatment. The specialist will provide education and treatment based on each patient’s need, and will schedule follow-up appointments to reinforce the treatment given, as well as to support and encourage patients. Speech therapy is the usual form of improvement and treatment for vocal cord dysfunction.

To improve VCD most patients receive ndividualized exercises and techniques for practise. Some of the exercises taught in therapy treatment involve; increased awareness of breathing patterns, awareness of body posture and throat relaxation, VCD released breathing techniques, control VCD during exercise, suppression techniques for chronic cough, throat clearing techniques, and vocal hygiene. This exercise and therapy regimen is used to improve, prevent and eliminate vocal cord dysfunction. Patients also need to become aware of possible triggers of VCD which could be set off by; upper respiratory infections, exposure to airborne irritants, strong odors or fumes, cigarette or fire smoke, exercise, singing, laughing, environmental changes, stress, anxiety and tension.

Stress and counseling

As with any other diagnosis related to stress, anxiety and tension, counseling may be needed to help with the lifestyle changes needed to improve your VCD. Counseling may also be needed for the extensive treatments, doctor visits and medications prescribed prior to the proper diagnosis. Some patients fear the worst when symptoms do not go away after numerous prescribed medications and doctor visits. When patients are desperate to find out the problem associated with their symptoms and to be correctly diagnosed, they can experience anxiety and stress, which is a known trigger of vocal cord dysfunction. Counseling can be an important part of treatment for VCD, to help with the anxiety and stress some patients experience.

Making those improvements

Improving the condition is not difficult; but it does take time, care, patience and commitment. Following the guidelines, exercises, and advice of your physician will help with the prevention and possible elimination of vocal cord dysfunction.

With lifestyle changes patients can lead a normal life, and enjoy the activities and exercises they desire. Patients must understand the triggers associated with vocal cord dysfunction and learn how to manage situations that might trigger symptoms. Learning to control stress, anxiety and tension is important in all aspects of life, as these symptoms can lead to bigger health concerns. Understand the diagnosis given, listen to your physician and ask questions, be aware of your environment and triggers associated with vocal cord dysfunction. Acknowledge and commit to the treatment, therapy exercises and changes needed to improve vocal cord dysfunction and start living life normally again. In the end not only will you improve your VCD condition you may eventually eliminate it.

Asthma Advice For Anyone Dealing With This Problem

Asthma can be a difficult condition to have to deal with. And for some people, such tasks as even going for a stroll, may be too difficult. Asthma is incurable and can be difficult to control but there are many ways in which you can stop your symptoms from getting too severe.

Peer Support for people with asthma

Speaking to your peers, who also suffer from asthma, could be an eye-opening and life-changing experience. Support groups can give you some suggestions on how deal with certain situations, and help you to fight your asthma and understand how best to deal with it. Support from people who understand your situation is key.

Medical Professionals to help with asthma symptoms and management

You should have a team of medical professionals to help you craft your asthma treatment. Of course your regular doctor will be the one you go to for help with your asthma, but you should also see a specialist. Asthma centers, pulmonologists, nutritionists and allergists can all work with you, making sure you are getting all the treatment you need. Your own doctor or medical practice may also have special clinics run locally, to help you avoid travelling long distances and can also help you learn to manage your asthma.

Asthma medication may need to be adjusted if you are suffering from a cold, flu or hay fever. The effects of some illnesses can exacerbate the effects of asthma, causing the need for more treatments. The doctor may choose to pursue additional treatment options during your illness as well.

If you need to take your asthma supplies on an airplane, it is a good idea to bring your doctor’s prescription with you. If you have written proof about the item you have, and that it is medically necessary, there will be fewer hassle with security.

Keeping your home suitable for someone with asthma

Clean your home with a wet mop instead of a broom. Sweeping the floor kicks up dust and other debris that can set off an attack of your asthma. You can greatly reduce this by using a wet sponge, damp rag, or moist cloth instead of your a broom or duster.

If you suffer from asthma, you might want to use a pillow that doesn’t contain feathers. Pillow feathers are known to worsen asthma and affect the lungs. The same reasoning applies to all bedding – only purchase bed sheets and comforters that are manufactured from hypoallergenic materials.

Asthma can be a dangerous disease – never ignore the symptoms. Take the appropriate steps to prevent and reduce symptoms, and consult professional help if you think that the symptoms are starting to get out of control. If you use the above advice, you can make asthma something you only have to attend to occasionally rather than something that rules your life.

What You Need To Do If You Have Asthma

The millions of people who are dealing with asthma may have a hard time doing the most simple things. Thankfully, there are a wide array of ways to treat asthma so you do not have to fear living every day life. This article will give you some great tips to help you better understand asthma and how it affects you.

Asthma generally takes a long time to develop, and the symptoms may be vague at first, making it difficult to diagnose the problem. There have been a few cases where a person dies from their first attack, because they didn’t know they suffered from the condition. If you find yourself with a constant cough or have trouble breathing, consult your doctor, so he or she can tell you if you have asthma and whether you need medication. They may even have suggestions on how to prevent it from worsening.

Don’t use humidifiers or vaporizers in your home until they have been rigorously cleaned, if you suffer from either asthma, allergies or both. If it is not clean you end up getting bacteria growing in the damp interior of the machine, and that can cause allergens to multiply in the air you want to humidify.

Asthma Attacks

Know what causes your asthma attacks, as this will enable you to work around them or prepare to treat the asthma attacks that result. Most asthma sufferers have a few common triggers such as smoke, pet dander or pollen. Whenever you can, just steer clear of these triggers when you know what they would result in.

Eat foods high in vitamin B6. Getting increased amounts of B6, also called pyridoxine, has been scientifically shown to make asthma attacks less frequent. Pyridoxine is essential because it produces certain substances that relax bronchial tissues. People who need additional vitamin B6 should eat bananas.