Exercise induced laryngeal obstruction (EILO) is a condition where inappropriate vocal cord or glottic closure occurs during exercise. This review of the literature provides an overview of the current understanding of the definition, epidemiology, diagnosis and management of EILO. Using The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines the Cochrane, Embase, Ovid MEDLINE and PubMed databases were searched. Four search domains "exercise", "induced", "laryngeal" and "obstruction" were used. Primary searching found 469 records, 308 were excluded following screening of titles and citation. 100 were duplicates, a further 47 studies were excluded after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Two studies were identified following cross-referencing. A total of 15 studies were included. The last search date was 6/06/15. Average prevalence in the general adolescent population and athletes was 7.1 and 35.2 %, respectively. Dyspnoea was reported in 96.5, 99 and 100 % of three EILO patient cohorts. Two studies (n = 107) reported continuous laryngoscopy during exercise (CLE) testing could differentiate between patients and controls. In two studies (n = 33) the visual analogue scale (VAS) showed a beneficial effect of endoscopic supraglottoplasty (ES). Thirty-eight out of 43 patients who received two or more laryngeal control therapy sessions (LCT) had improvement or resolution of EILO symptoms. Exercise induced dyspnoea is the most common EILO symptom. EILO has a high occurrence in adolescents and athletes. The CLE test is the current gold standard for EILO diagnostics. Management of EILO includes both surgical and non-surgical interventions.