Does incessant coughing give you sleepless nights? Are you pregnant and experiencing difficulties in breathing of late? Well, if you can relate to the above situations you may give croup a thought!
Since the immunity is at an all-time low during pregnancy, cold and cough are a common complaint.But what if the condition is something more serious? Well, we are talking about croup here! Want to know more about its causes, symptoms, and treatment? Read on to know more about croup and pregnancy.
What Is Croup?
Croup is a respiratory infection that causes difficulty in breathing and a cough that sounds like barking. While suffering from this condition, the area around your vocal cords (larynx), bronchial tubes (bronchi) and windpipe (trachea) becomes inflamed. As you cough, air is forced out through this passage that becomes narrow due to the swelling and your vocal chords produce a barking-like noise. Similarly, you may notice a whistling or wheezing like sound when you inhale (1).
Croup And Pregnancy
Here are some causes of croup during pregnancy: (2)
- The most common cause of croup is a viral infection. You may have inhaled the virus in the contaminated air.
- You may suffer from croup in case of inflammation of the epiglottitis (it is the flap at the base of your tongue that prevents food from getting into the windpipe).
- You may develop croup if you have accidentally inhaled chemicals and your throat and air passages get irritated.
- Sometimes, croup can also be due to acid reflux.
- If you are allergic to environmental elements like pollen or dust mites, you can develop croup when you accidentally inhale them.
What Are The Symptoms Of Croup?
The symptoms of croup will vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms of croup are: (3)
- A persistent coughing that sounds like the barking of a seal.
- A whistling sound every time you take a deep breath.
- Pain or soreness in the throat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Blocked or stuffy nose.
- Mild or high temperature.
- Runny nose.
Immediately seek medical help if:
- You notice a high pitched sound both while inhaling and exhaling.
- If you drool or experience difficulty in swallowing.
- In case you feel excessively anxious or tired.
- If you find it difficult to breathe.
- If the skin around your nose, fingernails or mouth starts turning blue or grayish. (4)
How To Treat Croup During Pregnancy?
While you are pregnant, your doctor will try and avoid all possible medication or procedures that may harm your unborn baby or you. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor will suggest the following treatment: (5)
- Your doctor may prescribe a mild pain relief medication to reduce the discomfort. Make sure you check with your doctor that this medication is safe for use during pregnancy.
- Speak to your doctor about the various liquids you can and should consume to ease the condition.
- In some cases, you may require an oxygen mask to ensure both you and your baby get adequate oxygen. Your doctor will recommend this if he notices any difficulty in your breathing.
[ Read: Chemicals To Avoid During Pregnancy ]
Pregnancy is a time when you need the utmost care and attention. Pay detail to every small symptom, even if you feel it will go away on its own. Do not let the symptoms aggravate. Speak to your doctor the moment you feel any discomfort or pain. Remember, your doctor is your best guide and you should discuss all your symptoms with him at length to keep any health complications at bay.
Did you suffer from croup while you were pregnant? What treatment did your doctor suggest? Do share your experiences here.
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