Medical Conditions | Uncategorized

Laryngitis

Inflammation of the larynx, which connects the throat with the windpipe and consists of a skeleton of cartilage with mucous membrane inside it. The larynx contains the epiglottis, the valve that prevents food entering the air passages, and the vocal cords. Laryngitis is an infection, usually resulting from a descending nasal infection or an ascending bronchitis. The inflammation causes a tickly cough and hoarseness. Croup and laryngitis caused by diphtheria are now rare. The condition sometimes known as pseudo-croup, however, often occurs in children under the age of five, more in boys than girls, particularly in the months November to April in northern latitudes. Pseudo-croup usually starts with a slight daytime cold in the nose. The child then wakes in the late evening with a sudden feeling of constriction, is alarmed, sits up and coughs with a barking sound. Breathing is obstructed by the swollen mucous membrane, and accompanied by a whistling sound. The swelling can be so bad that the child can hardly breathe at all and turns blue. The symptoms are quickly reduced by inhalation of water vapour, best achieved by putting the child in a shower cubicle and turning on the warm water. The doctor will probably be able to make a diagnosis over the telephone when told of the characteristic barking cough, and he may prescribe antibiotics to clear up the bacterial infection more quickly.

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