DENVER (CBS4)– If your child has trouble catching their breath when catching a ball or doing other activities, one local doctor is working on a solution.

Dr. Tod Olin testing children with exercise-induced breathing trouble and teaching them how to treat themselves that doesn’t involve medication.

Auvion Cobb suffers from asthma. She is undergoing an evaluation while at a cycling session at National Jewish Health.

Cobb is a high school athlete in track and basketball but lately she’s been coming up short of breath.

“I would just want to stop running in the middle of a track meet or stop working hard and let the defense go by me,” said Cobb.

Her wheezing led to an asthma diagnosis but Cobb said inhalers didn’t work.

Olin inserted a camera in Cobb’s throat to find out if her vocal cords are the culprits. He also tested her exercise endurance at the unique lab at National Jewish Health.

After a rigorous ride Cobb learned her vocal cords tended to close which made it difficult to breathe.

It’s a condition called “vocal cord dysfunction” which is fairly common in young females.

“We think that there’s some relationship with the amount of estrogen in bodies but men can certainly get this,” said Olin.

Cobb’s instruction given by Olin is to visualize, recognize the problem when it occurs and work to relax.

“It’ll just be like learning how to do a free throw and I’ll just have to practice it a lot,” said Cobb.

Olin expects 85 percent improvement in a few weeks.


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