Monday, April 27, 2015

Laryngospasm?

About 3 or 4 minutes AFTER performing highly aerobic dance (this never happens DURING the performance) I experience a severe tickle in my throat, followed by very frightening stridor. Drinking water irritates that tickle, and even air that I inhale irritates it. The worst part of this episode can last as long as 20 minutes. While I have been told that I am actually getting sufficient oxygen, it feels like I can't inhale. I will probably resign from the dance team because of this, even though I love it. Any hope for preventing these unpleasant episodes?

Melissa Kim, M.S., CCC-SLP writes...

I would suggest evaluation by a laryngologist (an Ear, Nose, and Throat physician who specializes in the larynx) for evaluation of possible Paradoxical Vocal Fold Motion (PVFM). PVFM is a disorder in which the the vocal folds behave normally most of the time, but inappropriately close on inhalation during an episode. The cause of PVFM is not always well understood, but triggers may include allergies, acid reflux, anxiety/ panic disorder, or frequent upper respiratory infections - to name a few. In addition to treatment for any underlying cause, therapy with a speech pathologist is crucial to learn techniques to interrupt the inappropriate vocal fold movement and stop an episode.

Best of luck to you!

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