What is it?

Inducible laryngeal obstruction (ILO), also known as paradoxical vocal fold motion, describes an inappropriate, transient, reversible narrowing of the larynx in response to external triggers.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Paradoxical vocal fold motion

Signs & symptoms

The most common complaint of ILO is shortness of breath, throat tightness, cough, chocking sensation, dysphonia, dysphonia (having an abnormal voice), or gastroesophageal reflux.


The diagnosis is confirmed by flexible laryngoscopy during an episode by visualization of abnormal adduction of the vocal folds and exclusion of other causes of throat obstruction. I


The treatment options defer depending whether it is an acute, recurrent, or exercise induce ILO.
- Acute - initially using panting maneuvers. If this is not effective, continuous positive airway pressure may be helpful.
- Recurrent - a long-term management strategy that combines speech and behavioral therapy, and also avoidance of perceived laryngeal irritants.
- Exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO) - speech-behavioral therapy and sometimes biofeedback using therapeutic laryngoscopy during exercise may be helpful.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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