See and hear the difference between asthma and a type of vocal cord dysfunction (VCD) called exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction or EILO. Nationally recognized expert in this area, Tod Olin, MD, MSCS explains and demonstrates how asthma sounds different than EILO/VCD.


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Asthma is a condition where the lungs have restricted air flow because the airways are squeezing down. 

It's different than exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO), which is up here.

The throat is partially closing and it really restricts the air flow.

People with asthma describe the experience as some chest tightness, some cough, some frustration.

It's gradual.

It comes on slow.

It resolves itself slowly.

There's not exactly a distinct episode that changes on a second to second basis.

We treat asthma with medications.

We use inhalers.

Albuterol is the most commonly used agent on a minute to minute basis to deal with acute symptoms.

If you take your inhaler properly with a spacer, it'll tend to work if exercise is the trigger for asthma.

EILO looks really different.

You see somebody who's suffering, who's embarrassed, who's breathing noisy.

You feel compelled to do something.

You see them stopping after a minute and 45 seconds, just unable to keep up with everybody else.

We treat EILO with different breathing techniques.

We don't need medicines.

Our speech and language pathologists can teach different ways of breathing so that patients can keep their throat open when they're going as hard as they want.

If they've got these tools in their tool box, there's nothing that should hold them back.

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