Airway disorders affect how babies in children breathe, eat, swallow and sleep. Airway disorders may be diagnosed before birth or develop overtime because of an infection or injury. Conditions that can affect your child’s airway can fall into one of two categories:
Narrowed Throat, Trachea and Nasal Passages – Children may be born with throat, trachea or nasal passages that are too narrow to let air and food to flow comfortably or allow swallowing to happen naturally.
Airway obstructions – Obstructions in the airways between the nose, throat and lungs that are present at birth can have a significant impact on a child’s quality of life and wellbeing. Examples of these obstructions include:
Floppy tissue around the vocal cords
Collapsed or weakened windpipe
Dysphagia or having difficulty swallowing.
The treatment of airway disorders can range from simple, ongoing monitoring to surgery.
Antihistamines or EpiPens can reduce airway swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages, throat and tongue if the airway blockage is caused by an allergic reaction. If the obstruction is caused by an infection, antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medicines can reduce swelling to unblock airways.
During endoscopic surgery, our providers use a thin, flexible tube with an attached light (endoscope) to explore the nasal passages, windpipe, throat, or lungs. The surgeon may also use additional tools to remove the blockage or inflate balloons to expand narrow passageways.
If you suspect your child has a neck mass call us for more information or to schedule an appointment. No referral is necessary.
Not all treatments, tests and services are available at all Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Check with your preferred location in advance.