Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vocal Cord Dysfunction May Be Caused By Work

Date:
September 10, 2007
Source:
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Summary:
Researchers have diagnosed two patients affected with vocal cord dysfunction, which causes coughing and difficulty in breathing due to irritating agents that are breathed in at the workplace. Until now, medical literature had only described two cases of patients with occupational vocal dysfunction.

Researchers from the UAB and the Vall d'Hebron Hospital have diagnosed two patients affected with vocal cord dysfunction, which causes coughing and difficulty in breathing due to irritating agents that are breathed in at the workplace. Until now, medical literature had only described two cases of patients with occupational vocal dysfunction.

Vocal cord dysfunction is an illness produced by a closure in the vocal cords when inhaling. Under normal conditions, the vocal cords would be open. It is a relatively frequent illness that is often mistaken for bronchial asthma given patients' symptoms, such as coughing, sensation of choking, wheezing, hoarseness and difficulties in breathing. Sometimes the conditions are so severe that patients must be intubated or even admitted to an intensive care unit. The diagnosis of this dysfunction is based on observing the flattening of the inspiratory limb in the flow-volume curve and observing the closure of the vocal cords with a laryngoscope.

People who suffer from this illness often also have different psychiatric problems, especially anxiety and/or depression. When they find themselves in stressful situations, their arytenoid cartilage moves in an abnormal way, leading to a paradoxical closure of the vocal cords.

In the past 15 years, apart from appearing within the context of psychiatric illnesses, cases have also been found among patients who found that their vocal cords often did not function correctly after having inhaled irritating agents at work. More specifically, the cases described began after workers were accidentally exposed to a high dose of an irritating agent. The same symptoms appeared each time they were exposed to other irritating agents at doses that normally do not have these effects on people.

Research on two new patients diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction was carried out by a research group directed by Xavier Nuñoz, professor of Medicine at the UAB and doctor at the Vall d'Hebron Hospital. The research report has been published in "Scand J Work Environ Health". Patients suffered from this dysfunction only when they were exposed to specific agents found at their workplace, but not when they were exposed to other irritating agents or products. The specific agents used were iroko and red cedar wood in one case, and xerographic printing toner in the other.

The information on this illness in medical literature has only included the diagnosis of two patients. A correct diagnosis is highly important since finding the solution to this dysfunction could imply having to change workplaces and avoiding any contact with the agent that causes it. According to researchers, it is necessary to inform about this illness in order to prevent it being misdiagnosed, since it can easily be confused with other disorders such as occupational asthma.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Vocal Cord Dysfunction May Be Caused By Work." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070906104143.htm>.
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. (2007, September 10). Vocal Cord Dysfunction May Be Caused By Work. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070906104143.htm
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. "Vocal Cord Dysfunction May Be Caused By Work." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070906104143.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins