EILO (Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction) Treatment – Chet Tharpe MD

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My name is Dr. Chet Tharpe and I’m a board-certified allergy and asthma specialist in South
Carolina. And today, I’m going to discuss exercise induced bronchospasm/asthma and what we
used to call vocal cord dysfunction, which is now called exercise induced laryngeal obstruction
or EILO. So, I read a post in the asthma support group a week or so back from a person who
reported that when she was mountaineering alone and exerting herself, she could do fine and
have no asthma problems or symptoms whatsoever. However, when she would mountaineer with
groups, she would have symptoms. She discussed having some shortness of breath and also
described how her neck muscles would tighten or cramp up. She was very frustrated that this
would occur specifically with others and also frustrated that her companions were not very
sympathetic and did not understand what she was going through.
So, this makes me think of a couple things medically and I’m going to focus primarily on the
medical aspect of this scenario. Obviously, you want to spend your time mountaineering or
hanging out with people that are going to show interest in you and care about you when you’re
struggling. So, it was unfortunate to hear that her companions did not seem to show empathy.
Regarding the medical aspect of it, there are some big key points we can discuss about exercise
induced bronchospasm and exercised induced laryngeal obstruction. As I discuss in all my blogs,
this is not medical advice. I’m obviously not your physician, but I just want to give you a
specialist’s view and my observations regarding what could be going on here.

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