Episodic impaired function of vocal folds causing obstructed airway. Also called paradoxical vocal fold movement, laryngeal dyskinesia, or vocal cord adduction, the vocal folds are pulled together upon inhalation, narrowing the aperture and creating difficulty inhaling. To a lesser extent, patient may experience difficulty exhaling. Characterized by inspiratory stridor, dyspnea, tightness of throat, dysphonia, cough, hoarseness, and choking sensation. Accompanying signs and symptoms include gastroesophageal reflux, rhinosinusitis, and difficulty swallowing. May be associated with severe asthma and/or triggered by anxiety, exercise, exposure to irritants, sinus infection, or gastrointestinal reflux. Not uncommon among student athletes.
Management involves deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, respiratory retraining, stress management counseling, and speech therapy.