Cough and upper airway disorders

Chronic cough is defined as a cough that lasts longer than eight weeks and persists despite medical treatment. When you cough or clear your throat, the vocal folds (which are part of the larynx, or ‘voice box’) slam together.

People who experience chronic cough frequently express their frustration at the condition, which can have a significant impact on quality of life, physically and socially.

Speech pathology management of chronic cough may be appropriate when the cough has been properly investigated by your doctor and a respiratory physician, and medical treatment has been unsuccessful. As a speech pathologist, Stephanie has training and experience in laryngeal and respiratory control techniques. She can help you to utilise evidence-based strategies and techniques to eliminate your cough.

Stephanie is also able to assist in the assessment and management of vocal cord dysfunction, also known as inducible laryngeal obstruction or paradoxical vocal fold movement. Vocal cord dysfunction is when the vocal folds come together when you breathe in, instead of remaining open. This obstructs air flow to the lungs, and can be mistaken for asthma. People who have vocal cord dysfunction often report throat constriction of varying levels, from feelings of tightness to complete inability to breathe.

Vocal cord dysfunction is best managed by a multidisciplinary approach, and must be specific to the person’s disorder and needs. Stephanie and the ENT team will work together with your other specialists to provide treatment for your vocal cord dysfunction.

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