Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD)
321 Middlefield Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Phone: (650) 462-0234
Fax: (650) 462-0225
Monday-Friday, 7 am-7 pm
725 Welch Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Phone: (650) 497-8218
Fax: (650) 497-8491
Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm
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Pediatric speech-language pathologists from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital’s Speech-Language Pathology Services evaluate and treat children from birth to age 21 diagnosed with Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD).
Vocal Cord Dysfunction is also known as Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion (PVFM).
What Is Vocal Cord Dysfunction?Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) is when the vocal cords (also called “folds”) come together during inhalation when they should be open or apart. This may cause the child to:
- Feel shortness of breath and chest tightness
- Have noisy breathing (stridor) and a hoarse vocal quality when speaking
Evaluation and Diagnosis of Vocal Cord DysfunctionEvaluation and diagnosis of Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) includes:
- A laryngoscopy, performed by a pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor (otolaryngologist). The doctor looks at the back of your child’s throat, voice box (larynx), and vocal cords.
- A clinical evaluation by the speech-language pathologist
New patient appointments. To make an appointment to have your child evaluated for VCD, please contact our Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) clinic. Proper evaluation and diagnosis of VCD is important; VCD is often misdiagnosed as asthma.
Vocal Cord Dysfunction TreatmentOnce a Vocal Cord Dysfunction diagnosis is confirmed, our speech-language pathologists provide the following treatments:
Breathing techniques. One of our speech pathologists will teach your child breathing techniques to control VCD while your child is exercising or when symptoms occur. Relaxation techniques are also taught to help relax the muscles of the throat.
Speech therapy. Your child may come to three or four speech therapy sessions to learn techniques to control VCD.
Home program. We will design a home program so your child can practice the breathing techniques several times throughout the day for better results when symptoms occur.
Biofeedback. We may also include biofeedback as part of your child’s treatment plan. First, your child will exercise to bring on his or her VCD symptoms. Next, a pediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor (otolaryngologist) will perform a laryngoscopy to look at the back of your child’s throat, voice box (larynx), and vocal cords. During the laryngoscopy, a speech-language pathologist will teach your child breathing techniques to control VCD. Your child can see the vocal cords opening while breathing and performing the breathing techniques.