Stridor: What is it?

content provided by

Stridor: What is it?


What is stridor in a child? Is it serious?



Stridor is an abnormal, high-pitched breathing sound caused by a blockage in the throat or voice box (larynx). It can usually be heard when a child breathes in (inhales), often after coughing. Stridor is different from wheezing, which is due to narrowed airways in the lung and usually heard when a child breathes out (exhales).

Stridor isn't a disease but a sign of an underlying problem — often serious. A common cause of stridor in children is croup, which results in inflammation around the vocal cords. But stridor may also occur with inhalation (aspiration) of a foreign object, severe allergic reaction and whooping cough. Stridor usually indicates a problem that should be evaluated immediately by a doctor.

Last Updated: 11/08/2005
© 1998-2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use


Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version