Voice Box Deformities (Laryngomalacia)

Is your child’s breathing unusually noisy during slumber, distinct from regular snoring? This could be indicative of laryngomalacia, a treatable condition that we can assist with...

Voice Box Deformities (Laryngomalacia)

Voice Box Deformities: Understanding Laryngomalacia

If your child’s breathing during sleep seems louder than usual or distinct from typical snoring, it might be indicative of Laryngomalacia. Dive deeper into this condition and discover how the experienced professionals at ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center can assist.

Defining Laryngomalacia

Laryngomalacia is a voice box disorder predominantly found in babies or infants. It’s characterized by the unusual softening of the tissues in the larynx or voice box. This softened tissue can collapse into the airway when the child inhales, causing disrupted breathing.

While the majority of children with this condition display only mild symptoms, like pronounced breathing sounds without significant health repercussions, a minority might suffer from its severe form. This severe manifestation could lead to complications such as choking on food or regurgitation.

Root Causes of Laryngomalacia

Though the exact origins of laryngomalacia remain unidentified, researchers speculate it might be linked to the development of the larynx before a baby’s birth.

Spotting Laryngomalacia in Children

Key indicators of laryngomalacia include:

  • Unusual breathing sounds while inhaling or exhaling, which may vary depending on the child’s position.
  • Enhanced breathing irregularities during emotional states like excitement or distress.
  • Challenges during feeding.
    Insufficient weight gain.
    Episodes of choking during meals.
  • Occasional vomiting.
    Visible retraction in the neck or chest region.
  • Short breaks in breathing patterns.
  • Regurgitating stomach acid.

These symptoms typically manifest shortly after birth and might intensify within the first couple of weeks. However, the silver lining is that most affected children naturally outgrow these symptoms between 12 to 18 months.

Diagnostic Measures for Laryngomalacia

Dr. Daniel S. Samadi at ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center is adept at diagnosing this condition. A notable diagnostic tool is the flexible laryngoscopy, where a laryngoscope is introduced through the nostrils and mouth to inspect the condition of the vocal cords. Additional examinations might encompass X-rays of the neck or chest to identify potential issues in the trachea or lungs.

Treatment Pathways for Laryngomalacia

Often, the natural progression sees children outgrow laryngomalacia by the age of two. For persistent and severe cases, surgical intervention, known as supraglottoplasty, might be suggested. This surgical procedure entails removing the excess floppy tissue from the vocal cords under anesthesia, followed by close monitoring in a pediatric care facility.

Post-surgery, many children witness a significant reduction in or complete resolution of their laryngomalacia symptoms.

Your child’s well-being is our top priority at ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center. Should you have concerns about your child’s breathing or any related symptoms, please reach out for a consultation.