BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuStridorBreathing sounds - abnormal; Extrathoracic airway obstruction; Wheezing - stridorStridor is an abnormal, high-pitched, musical breathing sound. It is caused by a blockage in the throat or voice box (larynx). It is most often heard when taking in a breath. Considerations Children are at higher risk of airway blockage because they have narrower airways than adults. In young children, stridor is a sign of airway blockage. It must be treated right away to prevent the airway from becoming completely closed. The airway can be blocked by an object, swollen tissues of the throat or upper airway, or a spasm of the airway muscles or the vocal cords. Causes Common causes of stridor include:Airway injury Allergic reaction Allergic reactionAllergic reactions are sensitivities to substances called allergens that come into contact with the skin, nose, eyes, respiratory tract, and gastroin...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Problem breathing and a barking cough (croup) CroupCroup is an infection of the upper airways that causes breathing difficulty and a "barking" cough. Croup is due to swelling around the vocal cords. ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Diagnostic tests such as bronchoscopy or laryngoscopy BronchoscopyBronchoscopy is a test to view the airways and diagnose lung disease. It may also be used during the treatment of some lung conditions.Read Article Now Book Mark Article LaryngoscopyLaryngoscopy is an exam of the voice box (larynx). It can be done using a small mirror held just below the back of your palate, or a rigid or flexib...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Epiglottitis, inflammation of the cartilage that covers the windpipe EpiglottitisEpiglottitis is inflammation of the epiglottis. This is the tissue that covers the trachea (windpipe). Epiglottitis can be a life-threatening disea...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Inhaling an object such as a peanut or marble (foreign body aspiration) Foreign body aspirationIf you swallow a foreign object, it can get stuck along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the esophagus (swallowing tube) to the colon (large inte...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Swelling and irritation of the voice box (laryngitis) LaryngitisLaryngitis is swelling and irritation (inflammation) of the voice box (larynx). The problem is most often associated with hoarseness or loss of voic...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Neck surgery Use of a breathing tube for a long time Secretions such as phlegm (sputum) Smoke inhalation or other inhalation injury Swelling of the neck or face Swollen tonsils or adenoids (such as with tonsillitis) TonsillitisTonsillitis is inflammation (swelling) of the tonsils.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Vocal cord cancerVocal cord cancerThroat cancer is cancer of the vocal cords, larynx (voice box), or other areas of the throat.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Home Care Follow your health care provider's advice to treat the cause of the problem. When to Contact a Medical Professional Stridor may be a sign of an emergency. Call your provider right away if there is unexplained stridor, especially in a child. What to Expect at Your Office Visit In an emergency, the provider will check the person's temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure, and may need to do abdominal thrusts.Abdominal thrusts Choking is when someone is having a very hard time breathing because food, a toy, or other object is blocking the throat or windpipe (airway). A cho...Read Article Now Book Mark Article A breathing tube may be needed if the person can't breathe properly.After the person is stable, the provider may ask about the person's medical history, and perform a physical exam. This includes listening to the lungs.Physical examDuring a physical examination, a health care provider studies your body to determine if you do or do not have a physical problem. A physical examinat...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Parents or caregivers may be asked the following medical history questions:Is the abnormal breathing a high-pitched sound? Did the breathing problem start suddenly? Could the child have put something in their mouth? Has the child been ill recently? Is the child's neck or face swollen? Has the child been coughing or complaining of a sore throat? What other symptoms does the child have? (For example, nasal flaring or a bluish color to the skin, lips, or nails) Nasal flaringNasal flaring occurs when the nostrils widen while breathing. It is often a sign of trouble breathing.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Is the child using chest muscles to breathe (intercostal retractions)?Intercostal retractionsIntercostal retractions occur when the muscles between the ribs pull inward. The movement is most often a sign that the person has a breathing probl...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Tests that may be done include:Arterial blood gas analysis Arterial blood gas analysisBlood gases are a measurement of how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in your blood. They also determine the acidity (pH) of your blood.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Bronchoscopy BronchoscopyBronchoscopy is a test to view the airways and diagnose lung disease. It may also be used during the treatment of some lung conditions.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Chest CT scan Chest CT scanA chest CT (computed tomography) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the chest and upper abdomen....Read Article Now Book Mark Article Laryngoscopy (examination of the voice box) LaryngoscopyLaryngoscopy is an exam of the voice box (larynx). It can be done using a small mirror held just below the back of your palate, or a rigid or flexib...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Pulse oximetry to measure blood oxygen level X-ray of the chest or neck X-ray of the chestA chest x-ray is an x-ray of the chest, lungs, heart, large arteries, ribs, and diaphragm.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Open ReferencesReferencesGriffiths AG. Chronic or recurrent respiratory symptoms. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 401.Rose E. Pediatric respiratory emergencies: upper airway obstruction and infections. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 167.AllVideoImagesTogRelated Information Wheezing(Symptoms) Review Date: 5/27/2020 Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. 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