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Inflammation Epiglottitis: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Epiglottitis?

Epiglottitis is a condition that can potentially lead to death if the epiglottis swells and blocks the flow of air into your lungs.

Epiglottitis can happen for many reasons - most often due to infection with the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Meningitis and infections of the bloodstream can occur at any age. Epiglottitis, a rare but serious infection of the larynx, can happen at any age.

Vaccination for Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) in infants has made the condition of epiglottitis (a throat infection) rare, but it is still a concern. If you think someone in your family may have this problem, go to the emergency room immediately. Prompt treatment can prevent life-threatening problems.

Epiglottitis


Explanation of medical terms and concepts Epiglottitis:

Epiglottitis is inflammation and swelling of the cartilaginous structurethe skinny gristle structure at the foundation of the tongue that closes off the trachea (trachea) once foods or liquids area unit being enveloped.

Epiglottitis is a potentially life-threatening disorder that occurs when the epiglottis part of the swallowing mechanism in the throat swells and closes off breathing passages Epiglottitis can occur at any age but it is most common in children under 5 years old Children with Down syndrome are at high risk for developing this disease While many children recover quickly from epiglottitis with little or no treatment some people are hospitalized and need a tube to help maintain their airways until they slowly return to normal function

Epiglottitis commonly called "inflammation of the epiglottis," is a condition in which the epiglottis becomes swollen and blocks off the airway The treatment for this condition depends on how severe it is as well as how far it has progressed In mild cases doctors usually recommend rest drinking plenty of fluids and taking pain relievers to reduce any discomfort associated with the swelling For moderate-to-severe cases antibiotics are often given intravenously to fight against infection When necessary patients may need throat surgery to remove an abscess or take out infected tissue."If they get worse

Who is affected by epiglottitis?

Epiglottitis will have an effect on folks of any age. It affects males over females at a rate of two.5 to 1.

Before the widespread use of Hib vaccinations in 1985, the sickness was seen in the main in youngsters between three and five years older. By the year 2000, the annual incidence of invasive Hib infection in youngsters younger than five years shriveled ninety nine p.c to but one case per one hundred,100,000

Symptoms Epiglottitis:

Symptoms in children

If a person has epiglottitis, children may develop signs and symptoms within a matter of hours.Some possible examples of this are:

  • Fever
  • Severe sore throat
  • A high-pitched sound when breathing in (stridor) is an indication of an abnormal condition.
  • Difficult and painful swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Anxious, restless behavior
  • Sitting up or leaning forward makes you feel better.

Symptoms in adults

The signs and symptoms of a disease may develop more slowly over days rather than hours. Signs and symptoms may include: -Feeling sick -Having a fever -Tiredness

  • Severe sore throat
  • Fever
  • A muffled or hoarse voice
  • When someone has a stridor, they make an abnormal high-pitched sound when breathing in.
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Drooling

When to see a doctor

If you or someone you know experiences difficulty breathing and swallowing, call the emergency number or go to the nearest hospital. Try to keep the person as still as possible so that they can breathe more easily. Do not try to give them CPR. Do not try to examine the person's throat yourself. This can make the situation worse.

Causes Epiglottitis:

Epiglottitis is caused by an infection or an injury.

Infection

In the past, Hib infection was a common cause of swelling and inflammation of the epiglottis and surrounding tissues. Hib is responsible for a number of serious conditions, including meningitis. Hib is now much less common in developed countries. Some countries have issued Hib immunization recommendations for children.

Hib can be spread through droplets that are coughed or sneezed, even if you don't get sick. You may still be able to spread the bacteria to others.

Inflammation of the epiglottis can occur in adults as well as children, due to other bacteria and viruses.

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus),A second bacterium that can cause meningitis (a disorder of the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia (a lung infection), ear infection, and blood infection (septicemia).
  • Streptococcus A, B and C,A group of bacteria can cause diseases such as strep throat and blood infection.
  • Staphylococcus aureus,A bacterium that causes skin infections and other diseases is present.

Injury

Epiglottitis can happen as a result of physical injury, such as a direct blow to the throat or hot liquid burns.

If you get epiglottitis, you may also experience signs and symptoms similar to those of the illness.

  • Take a chemical that burns your throat. Swallow it.
  • Swallow a foreign object
  • Smoke drugs, such as crack cocaine

Risk factors Epiglottitis:

Epiglottitis is a condition that increases the risk if you have certain factors in your life.

  • Being male.Epiglottitis affects more men than women.
  • Having a weakened immune system.If you have a weakened immune system, you are more likely to get a bacterial infection that can cause epiglottitis.
  • Lacking adequate vaccination.If a child's immunizations are delayed or not given at all, they are more likely to get Hib and have an increased risk of epiglottitis.

Complications

Epiglottitis can cause a number of complications, including: - difficulty breathing - swelling in the throat - difficulty swallowing

  • Respiratory failure is when the lungs can't get enough oxygen. The epiglottis is a small movable flap that prevents food and drink from entering your windpipe. If it becomes swollen, this can cause the airway to narrow, which may lead to respiratory failure. Anoxia is a life-threatening condition in which the level of oxygen in the blood drops dangerously low or the level of carbon dioxide becomes excessively high.
  • Spreading germs.Sometimes bacteria that cause epiglottitis can cause other infections in the body, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a bloodstream infection.

Prevention Epiglottitis:

Hib vaccine

The Hib vaccine is an effective way to prevent epiglottitis, a condition caused by Hib bacteria. In the United States, most children receive the vaccine in three or four doses.

  • At 2 months
  • At 4 months
  • If your child is six months old, they will have received their four-dose vaccine.
  • At 12 to 15 months

The Hib vaccine is not typically given to children older than 5 or to adults, as these groups are less likely to develop Hib infection. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the vaccine for older children and adults whose immune systems have been weakened by something:

  • Sickle cell disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Spleen removal
  • Chemotherapy
  • To prevent rejection of organ or bone marrow transplants, medications are taken.

Vaccine side effects

  • Allergic reaction.If you have an allergic reaction, go to the hospital right away. Though it is rare, an allergic reaction may cause difficulty breathing, hives, weakness, a rapid heartbeat, or dizziness within minutes or a few hours after the injection.
  • Possible mild side effects.These are some of the side effects that may occur after getting a vaccine. They include redness, warmth, swelling, or pain at the injection site, and fever.

Commonsense precautions

The Hib vaccine does not offer guarantees. Some children who have been vaccinated can develop epiglottitis-a type of infection that can cause other germs to enter the throat-and that's why it is important to follow common sense precautions: washing your hands often, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and getting vaccinated if you are at high risk.

  • Don't share personal items.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Diagnosis Epiglottitis:

If the medical team suspects epiglottitis, their first priority is to open your or your child's airway and ensure that enough oxygen is getting through. They will watch your or your child's breathing and blood oxygen levels.

If oxygen levels in the air become too low, you or your child may need assistance breathing.

Tests after stabilizing breathing

  • Throat examination.The doctor can use a flexible fiber-optic light to examine your or your child's throat. This will help to relieve any discomfort. If the problem is located, the doctor may also give you a local anesthetic to make the experience less unpleasant.
  • Chest or neck X-ray. Children with epiglottitis may have X-rays taken at their bedsides instead of in the radiology department. This is because the airway can be protected this way. If the X-ray reveals a thumbprint in the neck, this may be an indication that the child has enlarged epiglottis. The epiglottis is a small, cartilaginous structure located at the base of the tongue that helps to prevent food from entering the lungs during swallowing.
  • Throat culture and blood tests.To culture the epiglottis, a cotton swab is used to wipe it clean and then the tissue sample is checked for Hib. Blood cultures may also be taken in cases of epiglottitis because bacteremia is a severe bloodstream infection.

Treatment Epiglottitis:

If you or your child has epiglottitis, the first step is to ensure that you or your child can breathe and then treat any identified infection.

Helping you breathe

The first priority in treating epiglottitis is ensuring that you or your child are getting enough air. This can include: 1) Giving the person air through a straw, if they cannot speak or breathe on their own; or 2) Putting a tube down their throat to help them breathe.

  • Wearing a mask. The mask delivers oxygen to the lungs.
  • A breathing tube is inserted through the nose or mouth (intubation) in order to provide oxygen.You should keep the tube in your or your child's throat until the swelling has decreased. This might take a few days.
  • To perform a tracheotomy, a needle is inserted into the person's throat (cricothyroidotomy).If conservative measures fail, the doctor may need to create an emergency airway by inserting a needle directly into the area of cartilage in your or your child's trachea. This allows air into the lungs while bypassing the larynx.

Treating infection

If your epiglottitis is caused by an infection, you will be given intravenous antibiotics.

  • Broad-spectrum antibiotic.The infection needs quick treatment. So you or your child will likely receive a drug that is broad-spectrum right away rather than after the doctor receives the results of the blood and tissue cultures.
  • More-targeted antibiotic.The initial drug used to treat epiglottitis may be changed later, depending on what is causing the illness.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have epiglottitis, you won't have time to prepare for your appointment. The first doctor you see may be an emergency room physician.

General summary

The epiglottis is a flap of cartilage which protects the windpipe (trachea) and prevents objects from entering it The epiglottis acts as a lid opening when swallowing to allow food to pass into your esophagus and closing again over the trachea to prevent foreign objects from entering it In very rare cases where an injury or tumor has occurred in the region the epiglottis can become stuck in an open position blocking airflow past it into the lungs This condition requires emergency treatment with surgery to fix In most cases of adult-onset laryng

Can epiglottitis heal itself?

Epiglottitis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the epiglottis swells and closes off the upper airway causing breathing difficulties Epiglottitis usually affects children under age 5 and can be fatal if not treated immediately Epiglottitis develops quickly with symptoms including drooling or difficulty swallowing trouble breathing through your nose and a fever The swollen epiglottis can also cause pain in your neck chest or jaw If you experience these symptoms call 911 or take your child to a pediatric emergency room immediately -- especially if they are accompanied by a high fever greater than 102 degrees

How long does it take for epiglottis to heal?

The epiglottis is a flap of cartilage that lies at the top of the windpipe It closes automatically when food or drink passes through stopping it from entering the lungs

Is epiglottitis a symptom of Covid?

Epiglottitis is an inflammation of the epiglottis and surrounding tissues It occurs when bacteria or viruses that commonly cause sore throats such as Streptococcus invade the throat's interior lining (mucosa) The epiglottis is a flap of cartilage that helps protect the trachea during swallowing Epiglottitis is most common in children younger than 5 years old who have recently had a viral infection

How quickly does epiglottitis progress?

While most children don't experience any symptoms of epiglottitis when they do occur the first sign is a sore throat that develops during or after a respiratory infection Other early signs are difficulty speaking and swallowing; these may be followed by drooling A child with this condition will likely have a fever hoarseness and pain in the throat that worsens as time passes Dehydration is common so plenty of fluids should be consumed to help prevent this complication

How common is epiglottitis in adults?

Epiglottitis is unusual in adults In fact people over the age of 50 account for less than one-fifth of all cases Adults rarely get epiglottitis from common respiratory diseases like colds or flu This suggests that either adults don't have as much contact with contagious children or that adults' immune systems are less effective at fighting off infections making them more susceptible to other diseases and conditions such as epiglottitis

Diseases Diagnosis and Treatment-A/Z

Inflammation Epiglottitis: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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