is an abnormality of the cartilage of the voice box (larynx) that is present at birth. The condition is characterized by "floppy" cartilage collapsing over the larynx when air is drawn into the lungs (inspiration), leading to airway obstruction. This obstruction causes a noise which may sound like nasal congestion or may be a more high-pitched sound (stridor
). Airway sounds typically begin at 4-6 weeks of age. Affected infants have a higher risk of gastroesophageal reflux
, and in severe cases may have feeding problems. In rare cases, hypoxemia
may interfere with normal growth and development. The cause of this condition is unknown, but it is thought to be due to delayed maturation of the supporting structures of the larynx. In more than 90% of cases it gradually improves on its own, and noises disappear by age 2 in virtually all infants.
Last updated: 10/22/2012