About Croup in Adults:
Croup is a viral infection that mostly affects children ranging from the age of 6 months to 3 years. However, in some extremely rare cases, this virus has been found to affect adults too. So yes, adults can also get croup. When it comes to adults, croup seems a little more severe and has intensified symptoms when compared to children suffering from croup.
Causes of Croup in Adults
The common cause of children getting infected with croup is contamination through the parainfluenza-1 virus. This virus is airborne and is common during autumn and winter, but when it comes to the cases found in adults it is the parainfluenza-3 that has been found to be the main culprit in causing Croup in adults. The other viruses which can cause Croup in adults are haemophilus influenzae, influenza, streptococcus, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Croup in adults can be caused by a bacterial infection or a fungal infection too.
Symptoms of Croup in Adults
Croup in adults produces symptoms such as swelling in the vocal chords, wind pipe or bronchial tubes. It is due to this swelling that the symptoms of croup become obvious. The symptoms of Croup in adults are a little more severe when compared to the symptoms of Croup in children, but they are more or less the same. Some common symptoms of Croup in adults are:
- Cough, which sounds like that of a dog barking and is intensified at night.
- Sharp raspy or whistling sound when the patient breathes in and is called as stridor. This croup symptom is more common in adults.
- High fever is a common croup symptom in adults.
- Raspy voice is another croup symptom in adults.
- Irritation and tiredness are also symptoms of croup seen in adults.
Diagnosis of Croup in Adults
Quite like the case in children, croup in adults is diagnosed when the doctor examines the sound of breathing through a stethoscope or examines the throat carefully. At times an x-ray is also ordered by the doctor to confirm the cause of the cough occurring in croup.
Treatment of Croup in Adults
Since the disease attacks adults with a greater zeal, the neutralizing measures or the treatment of croup in adults is more aggressive. When it comes to the kids, croup can be easily cured through home remedies like installing a humidifier, taking a walk out in a damp evening or simply by standing in the bathroom with the hot shower running and the door closed. However, when it comes to adults with croup, the symptoms are much more aggressive and require medical attention. Therefore, in addition to the above actions, the doctor will prescribe immediate admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and that too for a longer period for adults suffering from croup. Other than that, the infected adults are administered with nebulized epinephrine and corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone (Dexpak) which help control and reduce the swelling in the airway. The doctors might even place a breathing tube to act as an artificial airway for breathing for adults suffering from croup.
The treatment in children displays results in 3- 5 days, but when it comes to adults, this time duration is increased.
Home Remedies to Cure Croup in Adults
Other than drugs and hospitalization, some home remedies also help fight off croup infection in adults. Some common home remedies for managing croup in adults include:
Humidifier: Placing a humidifier in the patient’s room works well towards warding off croup infection. The humidifier keeps the air the patient breathes moist. This moisture in the air makes breathing easy and leads to curing of the croup in adults.
Rest: A well-rested body is in a better shape to fight off any infection including croup in adults, therefore adults should be getting enough sleep to help recover faster from croup.
Drinking Plenty of Fluids: Drinking more of water and other fluids help you keep hydrated and also keeps the throat moist, which further helps manage croup disease better in adults.
Sitting Upright: Other than the simple steps mentioned above, the action of sitting in an upright position and sleeping with more pillows under the head also help elevate the irritating symptoms of croup in adults along with getting better rest.
Pain Relievers: Some over-the-counter pain relievers containing ibuprofen, acetaminophen or other pain relieving medicines can also be taken to help lower the fever and reduce the pain in the throat caused by croup.
Prevention Of Croup In Adults
Prevention is much easier to comply in case of croup, than getting it treated. Some common measures that help preventing the croup in adults include:
Washing Hands: Since croup is caused due to viral, bacterial or fungal infection; washing hands often and thoroughly helps prevent this disease. Hands should specifically be washed before having a meal or before touching the eyes.
Avoiding Contact with Contaminated or Sick People: Croup is contagious and spreads through touch also, therefore it is advised to avoid coming in contact with people who have croup or other sick people in general to prevent croup.
No Sharing: As mentioned above, croup spreads through contact. Therefore any sharing of food or cups, plates or other utensils should be avoided to prevent croup in adults.
Fast Action: If any symptoms seem to relate to croup in adults, immediate communication with the doctor should be ascertained. Detecting croup at the initial stage can help manage it better.
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