Exercise-induced obstruction of the larynx, or voice box, is often a cause of respiratory symptoms in athletes and is particularly prevalent in swimmers. A new report reveals a method to accurately diagnose this condition, using a flexible laryngoscope.

Confirming a diagnosis of exercise-induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO) requires visualizing movement of the larynx during intense exercise. In this latest report, investigators used waterproof tape to secure a laryngoscope to the nose, along with a modified swim cap and a laryngoscope cable that was suspended above the water and connected to a monitor.

The recorded laryngoscopic video provided stable, high-quality diagnostic images of the larynx during exercise, without disrupting swim strokes or breathing.

"This is a major step forward to help us accurately diagnose breathing problems in swimmers. EILO is a very common cause of breathing problems during swimming and is so often misdiagnosed and mistreated as asthma," said Dr. James Hull, senior author of The Laryngoscope article.

Article: Laryngoscopy during swimming: A novel diagnostic technique to characterize swimming- induced laryngeal obstruction, Emil S. Walsted MD, Laura L. Swanton BSc (Hons), Ken van van Someren PhD, Tessa E. Morris MSc, Matthew Furber PhD, Vibeke Backer MD, DMsc, James H. Hull PhD, FRCP, The Laryngoscope, doi: 10.1002/lary.26532, published online 25 February 2017.