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Tackling a Croup Cough

Croup cough is a condition in the respiratory system which results in airways swelling up on account of a viral infection and a severe cough that resembles a bark. A croup cough results out of an infection of the voice box which is known as the larynx and the windpipe which is referred to as the trachea. It causes the upper airways to get inflamed. When you hear a croup cough, it sounds hoarse; much like the barking cough of a seal. It is prevalent among children of a young age when they suffer with common colds or after they have an extended bout of crying hoarsely. It does not trouble the teens and the adults much because they have airways that are larger than those of the younger kids.

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The accompanying infection with croup is generally contagious. It is recommended that people suffering from it be advised to wash their hands frequently and control their breathing mostly through their nose, preferable covering it with a handkerchief when in close proximity to other members of the family in a closed room.

Cause of Croup

In majority of the cases, croup is caused by breathing in more air than is required normally. This condition is known as alveolar hyperventilation. It leads invariably to a deficiency in the carbon dioxide levels in arterial blood. This is referred to as hypocapnia. It results in airways getting constricted, chronic inflammation is promoted and the nerve cells get to be in an irritable state. The person will have an impulsive urge or a reflex to cough violently. Other impact of hypocapnia is a reduction in the content of oxygen in the body and a development of free radicals in the hypoxic cells. The major cause, therefore, of croup cough is chronic hyperventilation.

Little girl with the flu - isolated


Majority of cases of croup cough do not call for an emergency medical care treatment. In case of younger children, when their breathing tends to get heavier, hyperventilation may cause skin retractions. This will result in a tired and sick appearance with dehydration symptoms. It will be accompanied by stridor where you can hear squeaking sounds when children are inhaling. When such conditions prevail, it is recommended that hey be treated immediately by your personal family physician.

In not so severe cases that can be treated at home, using humidified air can be helpful in managing croup cough. Few parents and physicians have testified to the benefits of taking a steam bath, preferably with essential oils with antiviral properties when tackling attacks by croup cough.


Clinical experience has also indicated that breathing retraining has helped in reducing the severity and the duration of infections that lead to croup cough. There are simple breathing exercises that can be practiced and taught to the children to suppress croup cough. These breathing exercises also help the kids get comfort and sleep better. A good way to get children exposed to moist air is by using a mist humidifier. When they breathe in the mist, it will give them relief from croup cough.

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