Symptoms & Causes of Laryngomalacia

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What are the Symptoms of Laryngomalacia?

If your child is born with laryngomalacia, symptoms may be present at birth. The primary symptom is noisy breathing, known as stridor. This is a wheezing sound your baby makes when inhaling. It is often worse when your baby is on his/her back, because the floppy tissues can fall over the airway opening more easily in this position. Stridor may also get worse before it improves (usually around 4 to 8 months of age).

Other symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty feeding
  • Poor weight gain
  • Choking while feeding
  • Pauses in breathing (apnea)
  • Pulling in neck and chest with each breath
  • Blue spells (cyanosis)
  • Spitting, vomiting and regurgitation (gastroesophageal reflux)
  • Inhalation of food into the lungs (aspiration)

What Causes Laryngomalacia?

Laryngomalacia is usually present at birth or appears within the first month of life. The exact cause of this disorder is not known. A lack of proper muscle tone in the upper airway may contribute to the condition.

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