Stridor is a noise that happens when someone has difficulty breathing due to a blockage in their airways, usually in the throat or windpipe. It sounds like a high-pitched, wheezing sound. When someone has Stridor, they may also have a hard time breathing, coughing, and sounding hoarse.
Stridor is serious and can be an emergency, especially in babies and young children. It requires immediate help from a doctor. Stridor is often caused by illnesses like croup or epiglottitis, or when someone inhales something that blocks their airway.
It is very important for you to learn how bad (severe) your symptoms are.
How bad is my Stridor?
Mild– Stridor may only happen when breathing in, and it can be heard but doesn’t cause much trouble. It may not require treatment, but a doctor should still be consulted to check for any underlying issues.
Moderate- Stridor is louder and more persistent and can be heard when both inhaling and exhaling. This can cause difficulty breathing and may require medical attention. Your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce swelling, open the airway, and breathing treatments like oxygen therapy.
Severe– It is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment. It can be very loud and persistent and can make it difficult or impossible to breathe. Treatment may include a tube placed in the airway to help the person breathe and medications to reduce swelling. The person will need to go to the hospital for treatment.
Warning signs/severe symptoms of Stridor that need immediate medical attention
This is not a complete list or a substitute for medical advice. You should contact your medical team right away if you suspect a medical emergency.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Rapid or shallow breathing
- Noisy breathing
- Gasping for breath or choking
- Hoarse voice or difficulty speaking
- Coughing or throat clearing
- Noisy or laboured breathing during sleep
- Chest retractions (pulling in of the chest muscles with each breath)
- Flaring of the nostrils with each breath
- Bluish discoloration around the lips, mouth, or fingertips
- Stridor that is loud, persistent, or worsening
- Drooling or difficulty swallowing
- Agitation or restlessness
What tests are needed to diagnose Stridor?
To figure out what’s causing someone’s Stridor, the doctor will start by checking their body and asking them questions about how they’re feeling. Sometimes, the doctor will also do some special tests to get a better idea of what’s going on.
These tests might include:
- X-rays: This test takes pictures of the inside of the body to see if anything is blocking the airway or if there are any problems with the lungs.
- CT scans: This picture gives the doctor even more detailed information about the airway and lungs.
- Endoscopy: This is a test where a small camera is put into the airway to check for blockages or take a sample of tissue.
- Breathing tests: These tests check how well your lungs are working and if they’re having trouble breathing.
- Blood tests: The doctor might take some blood to check for infections or inflammation.
- Allergy tests: The doctor might also test someone for allergies to see if that’s causing the Stridor.
Supportive care for Stridor
- You may need to get extra oxygen to help you breathe easier.
- Adding moisture to the air with a machine called a humidifier can help you breathe easier and reduce irritation in your throat.
- Changing the position. For example, sitting up straight or propping up their head with pillows can help.
- Drinking lots of fluids like water or tea can help make the mucus in your throat thinner.
- It’s important to get plenty of rest when someone has Stridor.
- Follow the doctor’s advice and take all medications as suggested. These medicines can include things like inhalers, steroids, or antibiotics.
What caused my Stridor?
- Airway blockage by food, swelling, or any other thing
- Genetic makeup
- Respiratory infections
- Nerve damage
- Allergic reactions
How can Ankr help with your Stridor?
Don’t try to treat a Stridor by yourself. Use Ankr to:
(1) learn about the common symptoms of Stridor
(2) send message to your Doctor if they use Ankr platform*
(3) be better informed about how to prevent another Stridor
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