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I have recently become sensitized to perfumes, with reactions of laryngospasm, laryngitis, and difficulty breathing.  These attacks are immediate to contact with perfume and some other inhaled "fumes"(toilet bowl cleaner, feebreeze, candles, air fresheners).  I am able to control most of these except that I work with the public, and still come in contact with perfume wearers.  I have ended up in the ER 7 times in the last 3 weeks.  Along with the laryngospasm, and SOB, my BP has responded to these attacks and has been "stroke level".  I have been treated with prednisone, benadryl, and epi but they have been hesitent with the medications due to the BP. changes and additions have had to be made to my BP meds.  I am awaiting an appt with an ENT and allergist.  Most of what I have read on laryngospasm talks about short periods of laryngospasm.  Mine last hours and even continue into the following day.  Other than be inclosed in a "bubble", what can I do?
4 Responses
242588 tn?1224275300
Irritant agents that can cause asthma, can also cause Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD). It is important to determine if it is VCD rather than asthma or laryngospasm.  You may have VCD.   The diagnosis can be made by spirometry with flow-volume loops and by direct observation (by the ENT or pulmonologist) via a fiberoptic laryngoscope.

It is also possible that the inhaled fumes could be a "red herring".  The cause could be gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) which is usually, but not always, associated with heartburn.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
I had similar problem - took 2 years to get a proper diagnosis of VCD from major university medical center.  I found that combination of low-dose clonazepam and breathing exercise learned via speech therapy helped me gain control over situation, although not completely resolve symptoms.  My triggers included exercising in cold air, certain textures of food, and post-nasal drip from sinus infections.  GERD was ruled out in my case.  ENTs in general do not seem to be aware of VCD or how to diagnose it.
Avatar universal
I know exactly how you feel.  I too was diagnosed with VCD, but it took 2 years of ER visits,test after test and medicine after medicine to get there.  I went from running 5 miles a day to being on disability because I could not even walk, in a matter of a week.  The breathing episodes and high BP seem to push through all the medicine.  However, just two weeks ago, I went to an ENT who put a tiny scope up my nose and down towards my vocal chords and saw that I had severe swelling / irritation of the vocal chords caused by Laryngo-Pharyngeal Reflux.  He said this "silent" reflux is becoming more and more common as a cause for severe breathing issues.  He put me on Protonix and said in 6 weeks I literally should be returned to the state I was before I got sick.  He also said ENT's and GI's older than their forties would be less likely to be familiar with LPR.  Hope this helps.  I would ask to have the small scope done.  It took literally 1 minute, and was painless.  Good luck and hang in there!
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A related discussion, VCD ? was started.
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