This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Laryngomalacia is an abnormality of the voice box (larynx) that leads to the inward collapse of the airway when air is drawn into the lungs (inspiration). It usually becomes apparent at birth or shortly after birth. The most common symptom is noisy breathing (stridor) that is often worse when the infant is on his/her back or crying. In more severe cases, symptoms may include difficulty breathing with the chest pulling inward (retraction), poor weight gain from difficulty feeding, apnea, and cyanosis. The underlying cause of the condition is unknown. Most cases occur sporadically in people with no family history of the condition. In 90% of affected infants, laryngomalacia will resolve on its own by the time an infant is 18 to 20 months old. However, severe cases may require immediate medical treatment such as medication or surgery.
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