Congenital laryngeal stridor is a noisy or high-pitched sound with breathing. It is from an abnormally formed voice box (larynx). It is present at birth. In most cases, congenital laryngeal stridor is a harmless condition that goes away on its own.
Causes of Laryngeal Stridor
Congenital laryngeal stridor is the most common cause of stridor, noisy breathing, in infants. During the baby’s development, the larynx may not fully develop. As a result, part of the larynx is weak. This causes the larynx to close part of the way during breathing.
Symptoms of Laryngeal Stridor
The main symptom is the noisy breathing that is heard as the baby breathes. It is best heard when a baby breathes in, but can also be heard when the baby breaths out.
The noisy breathing caused by laryngeal stridor:
- Changes with activity
- Is present during eating, sleeping, or excitement
- Is usually less noisy when the baby is lying on his or her belly
- Gets worse if the baby has an upper respiratory infection, like a cough or cold
The symptoms of congenital laryngeal stridor can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Call your baby’s healthcare provider if your baby is not eating well or growing well. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your baby has trouble breathing.
Diagnosis of Laryngeal Stridor
The healthcare provider will ask about your baby’s symptoms and health history. He or she will give your baby a physical exam. The provider may refer you to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist. Your baby may need diagnostic tests such as laryngoscopy. This is a test to look at the larynx.
Treatment of Laryngeal Stridor
In most cases, congenital laryngeal stridor is a harmless condition that goes away on its own. Although not common, some babies develop severe breathing problems which need treatment. Treatment may include medicines, a hospital stay, or surgery.
Treatment will depend on your baby’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.