What is stridor?
Stridor is a high - pitched sound which is produced while breathing, usually in inspiration.
What is the cause of the noisy breathing?
It is caused due to narrowing or blockage of the upper airways of the child.
What are the causes of stridor?
There can be many causes of stridor. The common causes are:
- o Infections of the larynx, trachea or upper airways like croup, epiglottitis, or tonsillitis, and abscesses in the back of the throat
- o Swallowing toxic substances
- o Accidental swallowing of pieces of food or small objects that may get lodged in the upper airway
- o Injuries to the jaw or neck
- o Narrowed airways due to congenital causes like laryngeal webs
- o Congenital anomalies in the childâ€™s nose and throat, larynx, or trachea like laryngomalacia
- o Allergic reaction may cause swelling of airways.
What are the symptoms of stridor in a child?
- o Noisy breathing which is often accompanied by a visible suprasternal retractions or pulling of the muscles at the base of the neck dur to the difficulty in inspiration. It indicates that the upper airways are blocked.
- o Difficulty in eating or drinking
- o Poor weight gain
How is stridor diagnosed in a child?
The doctor will take a detailed history and clinical examination and may ask for the following investigations:
- X-rays. X-rays of the chest and neck both frontal and lateral views may be done.
- CT scan (computerized tomography) or MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) of the neck and upper airways.
- Bronchoscopy. This is used to visualize the throat, larynx, trachea, and airways leading into the lungs (bronchi).
- Spirometry. This test is done to evaluate the lung functions
- Pulse oximetry. An oximeter is a device to measure the saturation of oxygen in the blood.
- Sputum culture. A sample of the sputum that is coughed up is sent for microbiological evaluation
How is stridor treated in a child?
Treatment will depend on the underlying cause, severity and age of the child.