Definition

What is laryngeal stenosis?

Laryngeal stenosis is a term that describes the narrowing of the larynx, which may lead to obstructed breathing, dyspnea, and hoarseness. Laryngeal stenosis can be caused by external or internal trauma, previous surgeries, prolonged intubation (placing a tube in the larynx), radiation, chemoradiation treatments, or other causes.  Stenosis of the larynx can be acute or chronic. In young children, the stenosis can be presented at birth.

How common is laryngeal stenosis?

Laryngeal stenosis can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of laryngeal stenosis?

Stenosis of the larynx is a set of symptoms comes from the narrowing of the larynx, which leads to disruption of oxygen in the respiratory tract.

The common symptoms of laryngeal stenosis are hoarse or husky voice, shortness of breath, with which it is difficult to breathe, noisy breathing, pale face, restless behavior of the patient.

Chronic stenosis increases gradually while acute stenosis develops rapidly. It causes oxygen deficiency, along with excess carbon dioxide in the blood that lead to serious disorders of vital organs and systems until their paralysis and death of the patient. Acute stenosis is quickly treatable and reversible process.

Children with laryngeal stenosis may have symptoms including the inability to cough up secretions, severe shortness of breath, noisy breathing, difficulty eating, or recurrent croup-like infections at a frequency or age that is not typical.

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes laryngeal stenosis?

Most commonly, laryngeal stenosis is caused by:

  • Scarlet fever
  • Malaria
  • Measles
  • Typhus and typhoid fever
  • Tuberculosis
  • Syphilis
  • Congenital laryngeal inflammation of the larynx and trachea (tonsillitis, tracheitis, laryngitis)

Physical factors leading to laryngeal stenosis include:

  • Mechanical and chemical injury of the larynx,
  • Foreign bodies
  • Medical procedures (intubation for longer than 10 days)
  • Gunshot wounds

Risk factors

What increases my risk for laryngeal stenosis?

There are many risk factors for laryngeal stenosis, such as:

  • Prolonged intubation
  • Low birth weight
  • Reflux
  • Sepsis

Review Date: April 23, 2017 | Last Modified: April 23, 2017

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