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Child Hoarseness Causes & Symptoms


What is infant hoarseness?

Hoarseness is a condition that is characterized by a change in voice quality or tone, making the voice sound high-pitched, scratchy, or weak. When it occurs in children or infants, it may make breathing noisy or difficult, and may indicate an underlying health concern.

What causes infant hoarseness?

Hoarseness in a child or infant can be caused by:

  • Overuse of the voice (excessive crying or screaming)
  • Viral infection
  • Acid Reflux
  • Vocal cord growth
    • Cyst
    • Throat polyps
    • Throat nodules

What are the symptoms of infant hoarseness?

Some of the symptoms that are associated with hoarseness in infants or children include:

  • Breathy or weak voice (if old enough to talk)
  • Change in pitch of voice or noises
  • Noises while breathing (stridor)
  • Sore throat, coughing and sneezing (when underlying condition is a viral infection)

When should I take my infant to a doctor for hoarseness?

In order to accurately diagnose the underlying condition associated with your child’s hoarseness, it is important to see an ear, nose and throat specialist, such as New York ENT to undergo a physical exam and diagnostic testing. Our doctors will conduct a throat exam and may use imaging tests and/ or laryngoscopy, to view the throat and vocal cords.

Call a doctor right away if your infant is:

  • Under three months of age with hoarseness
  • Drooling or has difficulty breathing in addition to hoarseness
  • Still suffering from hoarseness after about a week

How is infant hoarseness treated?

Depending on the underlying cause diagnosed, treatment options will vary, but may include:

  • Vocal cord rest
  • Prescription medication
  • Surgical procedure (when throat growths are causing infection)

If your child is suffering from hoarseness, the first step is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of throat conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.

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