Vocal Cord Dysfunction

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Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Specialized Expertise to Help Your Child Breathe Better


A Nemours expert in vocal cord dysfunction examines a young girl.

Vocal cord dysfunction (when the vocal cords don’t open like they should when breathing in and out) can make it hard to breathe properly. It might happen as a result of a cold or flu, irritants in the air or extreme stress — young athletes and performers who really get worked up about their performance can experience this. Sometimes this condition can be misdiagnosed as asthma.

Learn More About Vocal Cord Dysfunction   

Vocal Cord Dysfunction Services We Offer

Vocal Cord Dysfunction Services We Offer


We combine the efforts of specialists from multiple departments to diagnose exactly what’s causing your child or teen’s vocal cord dysfunction, with:

  • appointments with all specialists coordinated to make it more convenient for you
  • complete examination by our trained speech-language pathologist and laryngologist (an ear, nose and throat doctor who specializes in problems with the larynx, or voice box)
  • specialized diagnostic testing to look at how your child’s voice box and vocal cords are working

Our specialists will then share techniques to manage the condition, including one-on-one speech-language therapy to focus on good breathing awareness and speaking techniques, and managing habits (like throat clearing or talking loudly) — especially during times of stress. 

This is a special focus of our treatment for young athletes and performers, so they can continue to perform well in — and enjoy — their sport or performing art.

We may actually see your child for up to twelve visits, to ensure they are comfortable and secure in how to manage their anxiety and breathing.

Why Choose Us for Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Why Choose Us for Vocal Cord Dysfunction


Our vocal cord dysfunction program is unique in the Delaware Valley/Greater Philadelphia area, and combines the expertise of laryngologists (ear, nose and throat or “ENT” specialists), pulmonologists (lung and respiratory care doctors) and speech-language pathologists (speech and language therapists). This program is a big part of our overall voice program.


Regional Vocal Cord Dysfunction Highlights

Services, programs, facilities and care teams differ at each location. Call for details.

Aspire to Excellence CARF Accredited

We offer care for vocal cord dysfunction at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.) and select Nemours duPont Pediatrics satellite locations. 

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Research & Clinical Trials

At Nemours, we’re actively researching new approaches for childhood disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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KidsHealth Library

Learn more about your child’s medical condition from the experts at Nemours’ KidsHealth.