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Children with shortness of breath and discomfort while breathing may have a problem with their vocal cords.
Vocal cords are the two muscle bands in the voice box that come together to make speech. They move apart to allow for breathing.
In VCD, the vocal cords come together when you breathe in, instead of opening up.
VCD episodes occur for a period of time and then go away.
Because VCD is rare, your child's doctor may misdiagnose it as asthma.
The condition mostly occurs in teens but can show up in children as young as 8.
At the VCD Center at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we diagnose and treat kids of all ages.
To learn more or book an appointment for your child's VCD, call 412-692-5460.
When the muscles in the voice box stay tense for too long, they can malfunction.
Excess mucus and fluids can irritate the vocal cord muscles and also cause VCD.
Triggers of VCD include:
Symptoms of VCD occur during an acute episode rather than all the time.
The feeling can be scary for children, as they may feel like they're not getting enough air. But blood tests show that VCD doesn't affect a child's oxygen levels.
VCD symptoms include:
We treat VCD by treating conditions that can make it worse, like allergies or GERD. We also help you and your child pinpoint and avoid triggers, like stress.
Our speech pathologists work one-on-one with your child, teaching them techniques to relax their vocal cords.
Your child can use these simple techniques to avoid or reduce VCD symptoms throughout their lives.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
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