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What is Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (ILO) and how does it differ from Exercise Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (EILO)

Robert Brinton Fujiki, PhD, CCC-SLP

November 15, 2023



What is Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (ILO) and how does it differ from Exercise Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (EILO)


Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (ILO) is characterized by trigger-induced laryngeal adduction that constricts the airway and causes dyspnea. ILO generally presents as inhalation difficulty and may include strider or wheezing. In addition to dyspnea, other symptoms of ILO may include a sensation of throat or chest tightness, cough, dysphonia, hyperventilation, and/or lightheadedness (Patel et al., 2015). Dyspnea is generally episodic, with sudden onset - often induced by an identifiable trigger such as physical exertion, stress, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), scents, or exposure to an inhaled irritant (Sandage et al., 2022). Symptoms often resolve quickly upon exercise cessation or trigger removal.

ILO can be used as a general term for any type of induced laryngeal obstruction. Commonly used nomenclature, however, is generally based on symptom triggers. If dyspnea symptoms are triggered by physical exertion or exercise, the term Exercise Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (EILO) is used. The term ILO is used if symptoms are induced by non-physical exertion-related triggers (i.e., scents, irritants, stress, etc.).  ILO can be used generally and refer to non-exertion-reduced symptoms specifically. This can be a little confusing, and it might help to think of ILO as a general condition with two subtypes: ILO (obstruction triggered by irritants, scents, or stress) and EILO (obstruction triggered by physical activity or exercise).

This ATE is an excerpt from the course, 20Q: Induced Laryngeal Obstruction - An Overview for Speech-Language Pathologists, presented by Robert Brinton Fujiki, PhD, CCC-SLP.

robert brinton fujiki

Robert Brinton Fujiki, PhD, CCC-SLP

Robert Brinton Fujiki is a clinician scientist specializing in voice, resonance, and upper airway disorders – with particular reference to pediatric populations. He received his PhD at Purdue University and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a clinical speech-language pathologist in the voice and swallow and craniofacial anomaly clinics at American Family Children’s Hospital. His research interests include the diagnosis and treatment of voice disorders, induced laryngeal obstruction, and cleft palate in children. 


Related Courses

20Q: Induced Laryngeal Obstruction - An Overview for Speech-Language Pathologists
Presented by Robert Brinton Fujiki, PhD, CCC-SLP


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  'Seeing that there is more research needed on pt outcome measures'   Read Reviews
The nature of induced laryngeal obstruction, including comorbidities and causes, and the speech-language pathologist’s role in evaluation and treatment of this disorder are described in this course. Current diagnostic and treatment practices and research updates pertaining to the condition are discussed.

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