Laryngomalacia (Congenital Laryngeal Stridor) in Children

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Laryngomalacia (also known as laryngealmalacia) is a condition that results from a birth defect in your child’s voice box (larynx). This can result in stridor—a high-pitched sound that is heard when your child inhales. Laryngomalacia is sometimes referred to as congenital laryngeal stridor.

Many infants with laryngomalacia will be able to eat and grow normally, and the condition will resolve without surgery by the time they are around 20 months old. However, a small percentage of babies do struggle with breathing, eating and weight again, and their symptoms require immediate treatment.

The Center for Airway Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital is designed to care for children with rare conditions of the airway. Our team provides the most advanced testing and surgical treatments available.

What is Laryngomalacia?

Laryngomalacia is a softening of your child’s tissues of the larynx above the vocal cords. These soft tissues fall over the airway opening and partially block it. It is the most common cause of noisy breathing in infants.

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