About Congenital laryngomalacia

What is Congenital laryngomalacia?

Congenital laryngomalacia is a birth defect that affects the larynx (voice box). It is characterized by a softening of the tissue in the larynx, which can cause the airway to collapse during breathing. This can lead to noisy breathing, difficulty breathing, and episodes of airway obstruction.

What are the symptoms of Congenital laryngomalacia?

The most common symptom of congenital laryngomalacia is a high-pitched, noisy breathing sound (stridor) that is most noticeable when the baby is crying or feeding. Other symptoms may include:

• Difficulty feeding

• Poor weight gain

• Recurrent respiratory infections

• Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin due to lack of oxygen)

• Apnea (temporary cessation of breathing)

• Retractions (sucking in of the chest wall and neck muscles during breathing)

• Wheezing

• Gagging or choking during feedings

• Difficulty swallowing

• Vomiting

• Excessive drooling

What are the causes of Congenital laryngomalacia?

The exact cause of congenital laryngomalacia is unknown. However, it is believed to be caused by an abnormality in the development of the larynx, which is the organ responsible for producing sound. It is also thought to be related to genetic factors, as it is more common in certain families. Other possible causes include environmental factors, such as exposure to certain chemicals or toxins, or a viral infection during pregnancy.

What are the treatments for Congenital laryngomalacia?

1. Observation: In some cases, no treatment is necessary and the condition may resolve on its own.

2. Medication: Medications such as bronchodilators and steroids may be prescribed to help open the airway and reduce inflammation.

3. Surgery: Surgery may be necessary to remove excess tissue or to widen the airway. This is usually done in more severe cases.

4. Speech Therapy: Speech therapy may be recommended to help the child learn to speak clearly and to strengthen the muscles of the throat.

5. Airway Stenting: In some cases, a stent may be placed in the airway to help keep it open.

What are the risk factors for Congenital laryngomalacia?

1. Premature birth
2. Low birth weight
3. Family history of laryngomalacia
4. Respiratory distress syndrome
5. Gastroesophageal reflux
6. Abnormalities of the larynx or trachea
7. Abnormalities of the nervous system
8. Abnormalities of the lungs or airways
9. Abnormalities of the heart or blood vessels
10. Abnormalities of the immune system

Is there a cure/medications for Congenital laryngomalacia?

Yes, there are treatments available for congenital laryngomalacia. Treatment options include medications to reduce airway inflammation, surgery to remove excess tissue, and speech therapy to help strengthen the muscles of the larynx.