Home Immune systemAllergies Glottis edema: causes, symptoms and what to do

Glottis edema: causes, symptoms and what to do

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

It can be challenging to act in a situation with which we are not familiar, much more when an emergency can be life-threatening. Glottis edema is one of these emergencies, and knowing what it is and what to do if it can be instrumental, especially in those who suffer from allergies.

Do you want to know what glottis edema is, its causes, what symptoms occur, and what to do in case of glottis edema? So, you can read the article that we present to you in FastlyHealbelow.

What is glottis edema?

The glottis is the space near the vocal cords in the larynx (in the throat). It allows air to pass into the lungs and phonation, that is, the formation of the voice.

When the lining of the glottis becomes inflamed, it is said that a “glottis edema” has occurred, which is an emergency because it can impede breathing. And the problem is that it can happen suddenly, giving little time to act.

Causes of glottis edema

Glottis edema usually occurs in allergic people, that is, those who overreact to some aspects of the environment, food, latex, etc. The same elements that other people do not generate any reaction. There are mild allergic reactions, such as rhinitis or eczema, and much more severe such as glottis edema.

It can also occur from inhaling fumes, poisons, gases, vapors, or hot air.

Other diseases can give similar symptoms, such as a foreign body in the respiratory tract, laryngeal spasm, anxiety crisis, and lack of calcium.

What are the symptoms of glottis edema?

If these symptoms occur after ingestion of allergenic food (such as shellfish, fish, nuts), insect bites (bees, fire ants), or after being exposed to steam, toxins, or smoke, you may be suffering from glottis edema:

  • At first, discomfort and even pain in the larynx may appear.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Suffocation.
  • Feeling of suffocation
  • Severe cough
  • Noise when inhaling.
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Snore.
  • Low tension.
  • Dizziness, fainting
  • There may be skin reactions: itching, paleness, hives, redness of the skin, or eczema.
  • Swelling in eyes, lips, face.
  • Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness

If these symptoms start abruptly, you should go to the nearest health center, and if you can’t, you can start with specific first aid measures, which we will explain in the next section.

What to do in case of glottis edema

People who are highly allergic or with the possibility of exposure to toxic fumes should always take the following measures into account, in order to face the first moments of glottis edema:

  • Call 911 or the emergency number of the place. If this is not possible, try to transfer to the health center.
  • Keep the person away from the substance that caused the allergic reaction.
  • Don’t wait to see if your symptoms improve.

Check if the person responds ( state of consciousness ): if he speaks, opens his eyes, or moves.

  • If the person is conscious: check if they are breathing well. If not, place them in a semi-sitting position.
  • If the person is conscious but has vomiting or blood in the mouth: place them in a side-lying position (safety position).
  • If the person is not conscious, breathing, and has a pulse: place him in a safe position.
  • If the person is not conscious, is NOT breathing, and has NO pulse: begin Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), about 100 chest compressions per minute, until emergency services arrive.


  • If the person has any anti-allergy to aspirate or injectable, administer it.
  • If adrenaline or epinephrine (Epi-pen, Audi-Q, among others) is available, apply it to the thigh (external face) following medical indications from 911 (or emergency number).
  • Loosen clothing.
  • Blanket.
  • Do not give anything to drink or eat.

If you suffer from a severe allergy, it is recommended that you consult your family doctor if you must carry injectable epinephrine with you and teach you (you and someone close to you) how to use it.

Do not forget to consult your GP if you have doubts about whether you are allergic or not.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Edema of the glottis: causes, symptoms, and what to do, we recommend entering our Immune system category.

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