Laryngitis

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Symptoms of laryngitis in infants and children

In infants and children with croup, breathing becomes more difficult. As the child tries to inhale through a swollen and narrow larynx, the cartilage may collapse, just like when attempting to breathe through a straw. As we age, the cartilage becomes stiffer and is able to withstand deeply indrawn breaths, but in children the cartilage is weaker and with each inspiration, the child may need to work hard to inhale. The maturing of laryngeal cartilage and widening of airways usually occurs by age 6 or 7.

In infants and children with croup, breathing may become more difficult. As the child inhales through a swollen and narrow larynx, the tissues surrounding the upper airway may collapse, just like when attempting to breathe through a straw. This leads to the classic "seal-like" barky cough associated with croup.

Coup is a viral infection of the upper airways. Symptoms may include:

  • Croup
  • A hoarse barky cough
  • Fever
  • some measure of respiratory distress where the infant or child works harder to breathe to draw air in through the inflamed voice box area
  • Symptoms that are more severe at night

Other symptoms of laryngitis

When the cause of laryngitis is not infectious, cough may be a significant symptom along with the hoarseness. There also can be a fullness felt in the throat. The patient also may complain of difficulty swallowing and have shortness of breath. Rarely, the patient can cough up blood-tinged saliva if the inflammation causes minor bleeding. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 5/18/2016
References
REFERENCE:

Tintinalli JE, etal. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th edition McGraw hill Professional. 2010.

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