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Was in coma for head injury. Cause of vocal cords that do not complete suddenly?

Dec 2012
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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1704 Questions
What can be the cause of vocal cords that do not close completely? My ENT says that "some people's are just like that". My neurologist says he is not certain. I was also wondering if it could be due to my be intubated for approximately 5 days while I was in a coma from a head injury. If the latter is possible, will it resolve and how long should it take?
Posted Sun, 22 Sep 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 8 days later
Brief Answer:
Suffering from vocal cord dysfunction?

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for posting on XXXXXXX

You seem to be suffering from vocal cord dysfunction(VCD)/paradoxical vocal fold motion can be characterized as an abnormal adduction of the vocal cords during the respiratory cycle (especially during the inspiratory phase) that produces airflow obstruction at the level of the larynx. VCD often micmics persistent asthma. Patients must be unresponsive to medication and other potential treatments before VCD will be considered. This often means that the patient has been hospitalized on several occasions due to episodes that are unresponsive to "normal" treatments, such as asthma medication.
The exact cause of this condition is not clearly evident and maybe multifactorial. There are a vast number of of theories as to the possible causes of this disorder and one of them could be alteration of the way your vagus nerve respond to altering the laryngeal tone and lower the threshold for stimuli to produce vocal cord spasm.
Well conclusively, VCD can be confirmed through rhinolaryngoscopy during an episode. It is often treated with high-dose inhaled or systemic steroids.
Saying it is natural is a conclusive over-statement as there are a wide range of possible causes of this condition.

Hope this helps and please feel free to write back in any other questions.
Dr. Nsah
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