- Croup is a condition in which viral infection occurs that leads to swelling around the vocal cords.
- Croup is characterized by difficulty in breathing and a bad cough that sounds like a barking seal. Many of the viruses that can cause croup also lead to the common cold.
- This condition is commonly seen in winter months. Croup usually affects the children under the age of 5.
What Causes Croup?
- There are various viruses that can cause croup. Many cases come from para influenza viruses (the common cold).
- Other viruses that may cause croup include adenoviru, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
- This condition may also be caused by allergies, exposure to irritants, or bacterial infections. But these cases are rare.
What Are the Symptoms of Croup?
Most severe symptoms are seen in children under the age of 3. This is because of the reason that a child’s respiratory system is smaller than an adult’s. Symptoms that are commonly noticed in most cases of croup include:
- Cold, sneezing and runny nose
- Barking cough
- Heavy or difficult breathing
- Hoarse voice
Immediate Contact should be done with doctor if there are symptoms like:
- High-pitched sounds while breathing
- Pigmentation around the nose, mouth, and fingernails
- Difficulty in swallowing
Croup may persist for more than one week, reoccurs frequently, or is accompanied by a fever where temperature is more than 103.5 degrees. An examination is done to rule out bacterial infections or other more serious conditions.
Some children suffer from mild case of croup in which symptoms appears with the common cold. In this type of croup main symptom is barking cough . It doesn’t include a fever that is often seen with other cases of croup.
Diagnosis of Croup
- Diagnosis of Croup is made by taking history of patient and by examination.
- Your physician will likely listen to the cough, observe your breathing and ask for a description of symptoms.
- If croup symptoms are persistent, then throat examination or X-ray is done to rule out other respiratory conditions to confirm the diagnose.
Treatment of Croup
In Mild Cases
- In mild cases, croup is effectively treated at home. Over-the-counter pain relievers are helpful to reduce the discomfort in the chest, throat, or head.
- Cough medicines should be taken after advice from a medical professional.
- If someone is facing problems like difficulty in breathing, swallowing then a visit to a hospital or clinic is warranted. Doctors may use steroid medications to open your airways for easier breathing.
- In extreme cases, a breathing tube may be used in child that will help child to get enough oxygen. If croup is caused by any kind of bacterial infection then antibiotics are administered in the hospital and prescribed for later use. Dehydrated patients may require intravenous fluids.
What to Expect in the Long Term?
- Generally croup that is caused by a virus infection goes away on its own within one week.
- In Bacterial croup antibiotic treatment is done. The duration of the antibiotic therapy depend upon the severity of the symptoms and infection. Complications are not commonly seen in patients.
Most cases of croup are caused by the same viruses that are responsible for causing common cold or influenza. So Preventive measures are similar for all these viruses. That mainly include
- Frequent Washing of hands
- Cover your face properly while going outside from house
- Avoid going in crowded places
- Keeping hands and objects out of the mouth
- Avoiding people who are not feeling well
- Some of the cases of croup are caused by conditions like measles. To avoid these kinds of ailments parents should keep their children on schedule for proper vaccinations.
- There are also vaccinations for some bacterial infections that cause similar symptoms to croup. These infections include the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine and the diphtheria vaccine.
- So make sure that both you and your child receive get vaccinated to protect against these kind of serious infections.
How is it spread?
- Croup is contagious condition that means it spread from person to person. The pathogen that leads to croup is spread by coming in contact with infected respiratory droplets of croup patient while coughing or sneezing.
- In addition to this, coming into the contact of contaminated surfaces and then touching the face, nose, or mouth can spread the infection.
Home remedies to ease the symptoms
- Prepare a homemade Vapor rub for barking cough
- Rub essential oil on the chest
- Expose yourself to humid air
- Use any cough syrup to treat mild cough
These will help to reduce your breathing difficulties and relieve symptoms.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Croup
Ayurvedic treatment is purely based on balancing the doshas. Chandigarh ayurved centre provides combination of medicines that are helpful to treat the condition from the root cause. All the medications that are given for the treatment of the croup are effective to treat the infection and relieve symptoms.
- Broncho care syrup
- Cough Go Tablets
- Kapha Sachet Powder
- Giloy capsule
- Trikatu Syrup
Description of medications
Broncho care syrup
Broncho care syrup is used to eliminate chronic cough, bronchitis, common cold, whooping cough, etc. The ingredients show antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, bronchodilator properties.
Cough Go Tablets
These tablets are very effective in bronchitis, cough, cold, nasal problems, and other respiratory problems.
Their properties generally balance the vata and kapha dosha. The sachet contains ingredients like – Sitopladi churna, Abhrak bhasma, Laxmi vilas ras, Godanti bhasma, etc. It is used mainly in chronic cough, whooping cough and trouble breathing. It also relieves congestion of chest, sore throat.
Giloy capsules are formed with the standardized extract of herb giloy (Tinospora cordifolia). The Giloy herb improves immunity, removes toxins from body and purifies blood, beneficial in cough, cold, fever, & bronchitis.
This syrup has best results in anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and expectorant. It can modulate your body’s immune response while cutting the characteristic inflammation associated with the back pain.
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Dr. Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1 Lakh Plus patients worldwide.