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Laryngomalacia (say "luh-RING-go-muh-LAY-shuh") is a breathing problem caused by a large flap of soft tissue above the larynx. The larynx, or voice box, is part of your baby's windpipe. When your baby breathes in, the soft flap covers part of the larynx. That can make it hard for your baby to inhale.
This is a congenital condition. This means your baby was born with it.
In most babies, this condition ends by the time they are 12 to 18 months of age. This happens as the tissues around the larynx grow and mature.
Treatment may be needed if the condition causes trouble with feeding. Treatment may also be done to prevent future problems with the heart and lungs.
The main symptom is a high-pitched, squeaking sound when your child inhales. It may be louder when your child has a cold or chest congestion or is lying on his or her back.
If your child has severe laryngomalacia, he or she may:
Follow-up care is a key part of your baby's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: May 27, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Jennifer Merchant MD - Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine
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