Vocal Cord Dysfunction


This is the generic term for a range of conditions with one thing in common, a neuropathy of the vagus nerve resulting in a 1 “ globus sensation “   feeling of a lump in the throat or sometimes referred to globus pharyngeus or historically referred to as globus hystericus because it was thought to be purely a psychological condition.

2.  Chronic Throat clearing – Due to the sensation of something irritating the throat.  In this situation is a faulty nerve signal.  Often confused with sinus drainage.  

3   Neurogenic Cough – when the urge to cough is coming from a nerve irritation without evidence of inflammation or infection

4.  Paradoxical True Vocal Cord Movement – when the vocal cords are closing when they should be opening.  This condition can mimick asthma.  Often described as exercise induced asthma. Can lead to passing out.  Differs from severe asthma and subglottic stenosis.  When the patient passes out the vocal cords open (abduct) and breathing improves. These patients are often misdiagnosed with asthma.

Treatment is with removal of irritants such as sinus drainage, environmental factors and intrinsic reflux.   Medications are also utilized to decrease the firing of the damaged nerves such as amitriptyline and lyrica

Anne Arundel ENT
600 Ridgely Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21401
Phone: 410-573-9191
Fax: 410-573-5910
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