Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD), aka Exercised Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (EILO), is an affliction which causes an athlete’s vocal cords to close up under stress, preventing proper respiration. For athletes, having a VCD/EILO episode is terrifying and frustrating and can leave you feeling hopeless.
Unfortunately, VCD is oftentimes misdiagnosed as asthma. However, unlike asthma, VCD/EILO does not respond to medication. There are many reasons why VCD/EILO occurs, and treatment outcomes are best with a team approach. Proper diagnosis, work with a qualified speech pathologist and work with an experienced mental skills coach are key for an athlete’s success. Each part of the treatment plan addresses different aspects of VCD/EILO and athletes often have good outcomes when all three areas are addressed.
Sports are inherently stressful. Stress is one of the major factors in VCD/EILO, and occurs more often in athletes that are more prone to stress (very driven, detailed, hardworking, perfectionist). The good news is that there’s a lot that athletes can learn to manage both their everyday stress and the stress they experience related to their sport. The goal of mental skills training for athletes with VCD/EILO is to lower the baseline of stress so that the athlete can tolerate maximum physical stress.
If you’re an athlete who has recently been diagnosed with VCD/EILO, there’s hope for you! The dedicated mental trainers at Erika Westhoff Performance have come up with an effective combination of skills and techniques that can help you overcome the side effects of Vocal Cord Dysfunction.
With our help, you’ll soon be back on the road toward becoming the incredible athlete you were meant to be!