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Laryngitis or bronchiolitis? How to treat the symptoms?

Coat, hat, gloves, scarf … everything is little to protect children from the cold, but these cares are often not enough to escape viruses. This is the case of laryngitis and bronchiolitis, which are highly contagious viral respiratory infections. This complicates its prevention, although we can always apply some precautionary measures such as cleaning your hands frequently, not staying with adults or children with these diseases and not going to places with a closed environment where there are many people, or where you smoke. [19659002] Laryngitis and bronchiolitis in children “/> Fortunately, there are also recommendations to alleviate the effects of these conditions. We tell you how to identify their symptoms and practical advice to counteract them.

It is true that the signs that present almost all respiratory diseases are similar: cough, mucus, fever … symptoms that repeat every winter , especially in children. However, yes there are differences between the different conditions, which will help us distinguish them. In the specific case of laryngitis and bronchiolitis, the difference lies in the area of ​​the affected airways which in the first case is the upper part and in the second the lower part. This results in small nuances in the symptoms, which differ, for example, in the type of cough that each causes: both dry, but with a very characteristic dog sound in laryngitis, while bronchiolitis usually shows more signs. acute respiratory distress at the abdomen level.

Effects of laryngitis and how to treat them

This is a respiratory infection that causes inflammation of the larynx, which is located in the upper tract of the respiratory system, specifically at the beginning of the throat, at the level of the vocal cords.

Doctor José Casas Rivero specialist in Pediatrics at Ruber International Hospital indicates that "laryngitis generally affects children of between six months and six years and is more frequent in the cold months ".

Signs of the Laryngitis

The most characteristic, and that usually puts parents on alert, is the cough similar to the sound of a barking dog. Similarly, children may manifest:

  • Mucus and fever especially the first few days.
  • A type of cough dry and strong, that is related to hoarse and aphonic voice .
  • Breathing noise . Some children may produce a sound when inhaling, also known as stridor, during laryngitis.
  • Difficulty breathing. In some cases, laryngeal inflammation can complicate air access, which causes accelerated breathing in the child, that is, marked ribs or a chest wall that compresses more than usual while breathing.
  • Night aggravates the above effects.

Normally laryngitis is not a serious infection, and ends up healing itself. However, our pediatrician tells us that "cases in which the child presents noise when breathing or respiratory distress may require treatment to reduce inflammation of the larynx with medications such as corticosteroids, which are anti-inflammatory. "

How to treat inflammation of the larynx?

With these tips you can improve symptoms in children:

  • Drink liquids .
  • Do not force the child to eat if he does not want to, since the lack of appetite during laryngitis is normal.
  • Inhale moist air . It can be obtained in the bathroom, accompanying the child with the door closed and leaving the hot tap open, for 10 to 20 minutes. Other options are to use a humidifier or place containers with water on the radiators.
  • Make it easier for the child to breathe cold air through the window, previously sheltering. This helps decrease inflammation of the respiratory tract tissue.
  • Beware of antibiotics ! They are not useful for laryngitis because it is an infection of viral origin. Nor are the collars with water and alcohol, which can cause skin irritation.
  • And the syrups and suppositories ? Before it is important to go to the pediatrician to indicate if they are suitable.
  • Treat the fever with the antitermic prescribed in the Pediatric office, as, for example, ibuprofen , and observe how it evolves.

Bronchiolitis: what it is and how to act

Like laryngitis, it is a viral infection that affects pediatric ages, especially newborns and children under two years.

In bronchiolitis inflammation occurs in the lower airways, instead of the upper area, as in laryngitis. In addition, its diagnosis is common between November and April, and most cases are caused by the respiratory syncytial virus .

Disease detection

The first symptoms are similar to those of a catarrh, such as cough and mucus and last about three or four days. Subsequently, the child has difficulty breathing which means that he inhales rapidly, continuously moving the abdomen and we see his ribs marked.

Other symptoms that the child may manifest are:

How to relieve bronchiolitis?

At home we can apply these measures:

  • Position slightly incorporated in the cradle. For this, a towel can be placed under the mattress, in the headboard part.
  • Do not go to the nursery.
  • Shelter, yes, but not in excess.
  • Avoid exposure to fumes or, of course, to tobacco .
  • Maintain hydration with small fluid intakes , by breast or bottle for the little ones.
  • Normal diet in a smaller quantity and with more frequency.
  • Help the expulsion of the snot, if it is the case, using physiological saline or through gentle aspiration.

It should be added that, according to our pediatrician, "in some cases treatment in the hospital, such as oxygen, aerosols with hypertonic saline serum , bronchodilators … ", concluding that" after passing a bronchiolitis, some children they will present similar episodes, with cough and respiratory distress. "

When to take the child to the emergency room?

It is logical that the parents are worried about the symptoms of laryngitis and bronchiolitis. Therefore, it is vital that they are attentive to their evolution, as well as to other warning signs.

In cases of laryngitis it is advisable to be alert if the symptoms worsen. For example, it is advisable to go to the emergency room when the sound or stridor occurs in a quiet breath or if the child cannot take a breath correctly, that is, it accelerates, the ribs are marked, the gut moves continuously, the chest area sinks or the neck is stretched. Likewise, you should contact urgently if the child cannot swallow drools too much, or the mouth or around, becomes colored blue or pale .

As for bronchiolitis the alarm signals are skin color changes which pales or turns purple , a greater difficulty in breathing or pauses in this. It is also important to consult in the emergency room if you barely eat, vomit or drink it causes you to get tired, as well as if you tend to sleep, get irritated and your health condition is generally bad.