Dr. Max Gomez: Asthma Misdiagnosis
25
August

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , /


WE HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US TONIGHT ON CBS2 NEWS AT 6. TINY LITTLE FINGERS IN THAT PICTURE. THAT HURTS. AT FIVE, DOCTORS HAVE KNOWN FOR YEARS THAT EXERCISE CAN TRIGGER ASTHMA. NEW RESEARCH SAYS MANY OF THOSE ATHLETES, ESPECIALLY WOMEN, HAVE BEEN MISDIAGNOSED. CBS2’S DR. MAX GOMEZ TO TELL US IT’S THEIR VOCAL CHORDS AND THERE IS A HIGH-TECH CURE. THAT’S RIGHT. IMAGINE TRYING TO RUN A RACE ONLY TO BE FORCED TO BREATHE THROUGH A STRAW ON YOUR LAST LAP. THAT’S THE FRIGHTENING SENSATION FOR MILLIONS OF YOUNG ATHLETES. VOCAL CHORD DYSFUNCTION LEADS THOUSANDS TO UNDERGO SURGERY EACH YEAR. HERE IS AN EASIER WAY. TRAINING FOR TRIATHLONS IS MORE THAN JUST A HOBBY FOR TYLER EVANS. HE MAKES HIS LIVING COMPETING. SO WHEN TYLER STARTED HAVING SERIOUS BREATHING PROBLEMS THIS PAST SUMMER HE STOOD TO LOSE MORE THAN JUST A FEW RACES. HIS INCOME WAS AT STAKE. I THOUGHT MY CAREER MIGHT BE OVER AT ONE POINT. I MIGHT NOT BE ABLE TO KEEP DOING THIS. WHAT IS THERE SOMETHING NOT JUST CAREER ENDING, BUT SOMETHING LIFE-THREATENING? THERE WAS A LOT OF THINGS GOING ON IN MY HEAD. Reporter: AFTER SEEING NUMEROUS DOCTORS FOR HEART PROBLEMS TO ASTHMA, DOCTORS DIAGNOSED HIM WITH VOCAL CHORD DYSFUNCTION. AT CERTAIN TIMES DURING EXERCISE HIS VOCAL CHORDS SPASMED AND CLOSED. IT’S TERRIFYING. THERE IS THIS EMOTIONAL EFFECT. Reporter: UNABLE TO MANAGE VCD CAN MEDICINE, MANY TURN TO SURGERY. INSTEAD, HE PUTS ATHLETES ON A EXERCISE BIKE AND PUTS A CAMERA IN THEIR THROAT. HE USES BIOFEEDBACK, SPECIALIZED BREATHING TECHNIQUES, SPEECH THERAPISTS AND PSYCHOLOGISTS TO TREAT PATIENTS NOT JUST IN COUNSELING SESSIONS BUT IN THE MIDST OF STRENUOUS EXERCISE. I WORK WITH PATIENTS WHILE THEY ARE PEDALING AS FAST AS THEY CAN ON A BIKE OR RUNNING AT 14 MILES PER HOUR ON OUR TREADMILLS SO THEY CAN LEARN TECHNIQUES UNDER INTENSE SITUATIONS. Reporter: A NEW STUDY SHOWS IT WORKS. 75% OF ADOLESCENT ATHLETES HIM PROVED BREATHING WITHOUT SURGERY. 85% CALLED IT THE MOST IMPORTANT THERAPY THEY HAD EVER RECEIVED. TYLER GOT BETTER, AND WAS ABLE TO AVOID SURGERY AND THE MONTHS OF TRAINING HE WOULD MISS TO RECOVER. NOW, BECAUSE VCD IS OFTEN MISTAKEN FOR ASTHMA, IT ISN’T TREATED PROPERLY. SO MANY ATHLETES DON’T GET BETTER ON ASTHMA MEDS AND QUIT THEIR SPORTS OUT OF FRUSTRATION. THIS STUDY IS THE FIRST TO VO VCD CAN BE DIAGNOSED AND TREATED SUCCESSFULLY WITHOUT SURGERY. THE KEY IS IF YOU ARE TOLD YOU HAVE EXERCISE INDUCED ASTHMA BUT THE EDUCATION ISN’T HELPING YOU GET BETTER, LOOK TO SEE IF


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