What is it?

Laryngospasm is a sudden spasm of the vocal cords. Laryngospasm are often a manifestation of an underlying condition. They usually last for a few seconds, no more than a minute. The common causes for them are: gastrointestinal disorders, usually gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, anxiety or emotional stress, and during surgeries that involve general anesthesia.

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Signs & symptoms

During laryngospasm you may feel like your windpipe (trachea) is constricted slightly (a minor laryngospasm) or like you can’t breathe at all. People going through laryngospasm for the first time may be extremely concerned, although the spasm usually doesn't last more than a minute and sometimes doesn't reoccur.


Treatment for layngospasm depends on its cause. If it is caused by asthma, stress or GERD, the patient can learn breathing exercises to stay calm during a spasm, which may shorten it. Treatment of the underlying disease may help reducing the frequency of the spasms. Taking antacids for GERD or steroidal inhalers for asthma, may improve your disease symptoms as well as your laryngospasm.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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