Although helium offers an additional tool in the treatment of various airway and pulmonary problems, it has no inherent therapeutic effects. As such, it can be used only as a temporizing agent to allow time for therapeutic agents to work or for the natural resolution of the disease process. It may also allow time for optimal planning when dealing with difficult problems such as upper airway obstruction. While the majority of clinical experience describes its use for obstructive lesions of the glottic/subglottic areas, it may also be of benefit in conditions that narrow the more distal airways, including asthma. Given its beneficial physiologic effects, it seems that future studies are warranted to evaluate its efficacy in other disease processes.