Vocal Cord Dysfunction: Etiologies and Treatment

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Vocal cord dysfunction, a syndrome of paradoxical inspiratory closure of the vocal cords, is becoming more frequently recognized and diagnosed recently since its initial modern description 30 years ago. Initially described as single case reports, the first case series in 1983 helped to clarify the typical patient and findings of vocal cord dysfunction. Recent investigations have elucidated specific etiologies such as gastroesophageal reflux, exercise, and irritants as causative factors in addition to the numerous associated psychologic factors. Speech therapy and psychotherapy have been used extensively with vocal cord dysfunction patients, but the optimal treatment has yet to be prospectively studied. This manuscript provides a comprehensive review of the reported causative factors and treatments for vocal cord dysfunction.

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