Home > Pulmonology > NLC 2022 > Challenges in Upper Airway Diseases > Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO) is often misdiagnosed

Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO) is often misdiagnosed

Presented By
Dr Emil Walsted, Bispebjerg Hospital, Denmark
NLC 2022
Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO) is often mistaken for asthma. In fact, it is a very different condition that needs a specific management strategy mainly focused on patient awareness. Respiratory and speech training may also prove beneficial, but an inhaler should not be part of therapy (unless the patient has concomitant asthma). Dr Emil Walsted (Bispebjerg Hospital, Denmark) explained that EILO is caused by narrowing of the laryngeal structures (at the level of the vocal cords or in the supraglottic area) which occurs during vigorous exercise. “This phenomenon leads to exertional breathlessness, coughing during or after exercise, a (high-pitch or) wheezing sound on inspiration, and throat tightness. These symptoms resemble those of asthma, hence the frequent misdiagnosis. EILO is most frequently diagnosed in adolescents, with more young women than men presenting with the condition,” Dr Walsted added. “As it is often diagnosed as asthma, pat...

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