Epiglottitis is one of the life-threatening conditions in which air entrainment in the lungs is blocked with swelling of the cartilaginous structure called epiglottis or "laryngeal cap" located in the throat area. Epiglottitis may be caused by consuming hot drinks, direct injuries in the throat, and infections. Hemophilus influenza type b (Hib) is the most common cause of pneumonia, meningitis and blood infection in children in the past. Epiglottitis can occur at any age. The routine "Hib vaccine" for infants has made epiglottitis rare, but is still considered a threat to children. If you suspect that you or one of your family members have epiglottitis, seek urgent help immediately. Early treatment can prevent life-threatening complications.
What Are The Symptoms?
In children the following symptoms may develop within a few hours epiglottit: fever, severe sore throat, abnormal and tremulous breathing, swallowing difficulty and painful swallowing, anxiety, restless behavior, significant relaxation when sitting or tilting forward.
Symptoms In Adults
Common symptoms in adults as in children, not in a few hours, more slowly, and manifests itself in a period of a few days. Signs and symptoms include the following: Severe throat pain, fever, muffled sound or vocalization, abnormal and tremulous breathing , shortness of breath.
Epiglottis-related complications include:
• Respiratory failure: Epiglot is a moving lid on the larynx that prevents food and drinks from entering the breath tube. Because of an injury or infection, the epiglottis narrows the tube of breathing and may even close completely. This can lead to life-threatening consequences such as a decrease in the level of oxygen at the level of the respiratory failure, or an increase in the rate of carbon dioxide. Respiratory failure may develop.
• Infection spreading: The type of bacteria that causes epiglottitis sometimes causes diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis or blood infection (sepsis) in other parts of the body.