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Laryngomalacia

What is laryngomalacia?

Laryngomalacia is a softening of the tissues of the larynx above the vocal folds, causing a collapse of the laryngeal structures while breathing occurs. This usually occurs in infants. For most people, laryngomalacia is not a serious condition and most laryngomalacias will resolve without need for intervention or surgery by the time an infant is 18 to 20 months old.

What causes laryngomalacia?

Laryngomalacia is a congenital (present from birth) disorder and the cause is unknown.

What are the symptoms of laryngomalacia?

Infants or people with laryngomalacia will present with noisy breathing.

How do you treat laryngomalacia?

Most cases of laryngomalacia will resolve themselves without treatment. However, a small percentage of babies with laryngomalacia do struggle with breathing, eating, and gaining weight. In these cases, there is surgical management for this condition, but it is rarely needed.