The disorder in which the epiglottis is inflamed is known as epiglottitis. An infectious alteration in the cartilage covers the trachea, which is not very common but is part of a medical emergency. It is a severe condition with progressive but short evolution. Epiglottitis can occur at any age, although children mainly suffer it; However, today, it is becoming less frequent thanks to the vaccinations children must receive.
A medical consultation must be carried out in any anomaly that may arise since acute epiglottitis has a mortality rate of up to 80% when it is not diagnosed correctly and if not treated promptly. Therefore, this time at FastlyHealwe wants to offer you all the information related to acute epiglottitis: symptoms and treatment.
Table of Contents
Primary symptoms of acute epiglottitis
Acute epiglottitis can be fatal if not treated correctly, so it is essential to pay close attention to the symptoms. This disorder begins with:
- High fever
- Throat discomfort
- Itchy sensation in the area
This causes that, in the beginning, it can be confused with numerous pathologies.
Other symptoms of acute epiglottitis can be:
- Shortness of breath
- Voice changes
On the other hand, noises and discomfort may appear when breathing, causing it is necessary to sit upright or lean slightly forward to be able to act without feeling too much pain.
This pathology must be treated in time because the airways can be blocked entirely and induce respiratory arrest, which would lead to death.
Causes of acute epiglottitis
It is known as the epiglottis, cartilage in the throat that is rigid but, at the same time, flexible. This cartilage is explicitly found in the posterior area of the tongue. It is responsible for closing the trachea when food and drinks are swallowed to pass directly to the stomach, thus preventing them from going to the respiratory tract and causing a suffocating cough or suffocation.
In children, inflammation of the epiglottis is caused by a bacterium known as Haemophilus influenzae type B, while in adults and the elderly, in addition to this bacterium, it can be generated by a virus such as pneumococcus or, rarely, herpes; however, this disorder is no longer common due to the influenza vaccine, which must be administered to all minors, who are the most likely to suffer from acute epiglottitis.
Treatment against inflammation of the epiglottis
The symptoms of acute epiglottitis can be confused with other disorders; for this reason, the trained doctor must carry out the correct exploration of the throat, especially in the area of the epiglottis, which appears red and inflamed. Possibly with edema, that is to say, swelling due to accumulation of fluid in the tissue. A blood and tissue sample from the affected area is also used to determine which infectious agent is causing it and diagnose the disease.
Treatment of acute epiglottitis generally requires hospitalization in the intensive care unit. The treatment carried out on-site depends on the judgment of the professionals. However, it often consists of helping people to improve their breathing considerably using, for example, a breathing tube and oxygen.
It is also possible that it is complemented with other treatments such as antibiotics that are specific to kill the bacteria existing in the body, that fluids are administered intravenously or that the doctor prescribes anti-inflammatories or corticosteroids to reduce the discomfort in the throat.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.