How to Diagnose Laryngomalacia

Laryngomalacia, a clinical name of ‘soft larynx’, normally occurs in people who have weak throat muscles. Its main cause is collapse of the upper larynx during inhaling. It is not a severe condition and can be treated easily. However, it is referred as Laryngomalacia when it gets complicated. Doctors use a number of tools to diagnose the problem, mainly using history of the patient from other clinics. They can either ask the patient if they have been suffering the problem commonly and how many times they have suffered before or can access the medical history of the patient themselves.


  • 1

    Patient History

    People suffering from laryngomalacia have a history of the problem. A common sign of the disease is that the patient starts having an effect in respiratory procedure. Their voice becomes louder than usual during initial two months of the problem. Also, different types of noises can be heard in the respiratory process.

  • 2

    General Physical

    Conducting a general physical of the person can also help diagnose the problem, even if the person's respiratory condition has improved. A particular sign of the existence of the problem is that person has a typical noise while crying. Doctors can easily know by conducting the physical of the patient.

  • 3

    Imaging Studies

    Performing of imaging studies can also help a doctor quickly know if the person has laryngomalacia. A common procedure is laryngoscopy, which the doctors often use to see practically if the upper larynx collapses during the inhaling process, and if it does, it is the most obvious sign that the person is suffering from the problem. A bronchoscopy under anesthesia is also a known procedure to confirm the problem. However, it should not be performed by any other doctor except for a pediatric pulmonologist or otorhinolaryngologist.

  • 4

    Direct Visualization of Airway

    This is also an effective method for physicians to diagnose a person with Laryngomalacia. They should be aware that epiglottis should be omega-shaped. This is probably the simplest of methods that a doctor can directly observe the patient's airway to conclude if they have the problem.

  • 5

    Classify Laryngomalacia

    Laryngomalacia is in five types, and each type has different signs of diagnosis. All forms can be diagnosed keeping in view the history of the patient. A person is more likely to suffer one or two types at a time. However, if the problem is left untreated for a while, it can be severer and in all types. It is for the doctor to decide which method they use to diagnose the problem.

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