Croup Coughing: Symptoms, Cause, Treatment
What is croup cough? Croup is a respiratory condition that
results in swelling of airways, usually due to a viral infection, and a
harsh barking croup cough. It is most common among children 1 to 5 years old
and rarely happens in adults and teenagers since they have larger airways.
The infection accompanied by croup is usually contagious. Hand-washing, strictly nose breathing (to prevent infections entering
through the mouth), and other hygienic precautions are crucial for health of
the household members. For mouth breathing effects, visit
Mouth breathing problems.
Cause of croup coughing
In most cases, croup cough is caused by alveolar hyperventilation
(breathing more air than the medical norm) that leads to hypocapnia
(deficiency of CO2 or carbon dioxide). Hypocapnia causes constriction of airways,
promotes chronic inflammation, and irritable state of nerve cells leading to
chronic expression of the urge-to-cough reflex. Other effects of alveolar hypocapnia
are reduced body-oxygen content, production of free radicals in hypoxic
cells, and the suppressed immune system due to tissue hypoxia. The dysfunctional immune
system cannot prevent infections and, superficially, infections look
like the cause of croup, but in reality chronic hyperventilation is the
cause of croup cough.
Treatment of croup coughing
Most cases of croup cough do not require ER (Emergency Room) treatment.
However, if your child’s breathing gets even heavier, severe
hyperventilation will cause: skin retractions (observe the skin between
the ribs pulls in with each inhalation), a fatigued and very sick
appearance, difficulty swallowing, drooling, stridor (squeaking sounds
when inhaling), a color around the mouth, and symptoms of dehydration.
Pay attention to all these signs in kids. They indicate that the situation gets more
Many leading health care providers continue to claim that use of
humidified air is useful in management of croup cough at home. Is there
medical evidence to support humidified air inhalation? Note that some parents and doctors still report
that they get benefits from breathing steam from a hot bath (with or without
essential oils) during croup cough attacks.
However, the results of clinical trials in relation to the usefulness of humidified
air will be surprising for many people. There are three medical abstracts
that are pasted right below here as your bonus content.
Here are much better steps to reduce severity of croup in chidlren.
Clinical experience of medical doctors practicing breathing retraining
have found that it is possible to reduce duration and severity of croup
cough and respiratory infections. (Normally, these viral infections lasts for 3-5 days.).
Step No. 1 is to teach a child, if possible, how to cough only
through the nose to prevent CO2 losses and boost the immune system. Next, this
simple breathing exercise how to stop a
cough in adults will help children too. The exercise should be practiced
by adults and then taught to children to stop their croup attacks. It also helps kids to fall asleep faster.
YouTube Video: How to
Cure a Cough.
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