Epiglottitis occurs when the epiglottis (a small cartilage lid covering your windpipe), swells, blocking airflow into your lungs. Most cases of epiglottitis are potentially life-threatening.
Symptoms of epiglottitis may be different in children and adults. However, the most common and obvious symptoms are:
- Severe sore throat
- Restless behaviour
- Discomfort lying down
- Difficulty in swallowing
- High-pitched sound while inhaling
Factors that can increase your chances of developing epiglottitis are:
- A weak immune system
- Lack of necessary and adequate vaccination in children
If your phyisican sees signs of epiglottitis, he will first ensure that enough oxygen is getting through by using an oximeter.
Once your breathing is stabilized, your doctor will run the following tests on you:
- Blood test
- Throat examination
- Throat culture
- Chest or neck X-Ray
The most initial and immediate form of treatment is to ensure you are getting enough oxygen. If the flow of oxygen is less, then adequate oxygen flow is ensured through an oxygen mask, a breathing pipe or by inserting a needle in the trachea.
If the epiglottitis has been caused due to an infection, antibiotics and intravenous drugs are administered. These antibiotics are given on an immediate and long-term basis.