Laryngotracheitis in adults: symptoms and treatment

Treatment of laryngotracheitis in adults

Acute laryngotracheitis – a disease of the inflammatory character, combining the simultaneous defeat of the larynx (laryngitis) and trachea (tracheitis). It appears most often in the form of additional disease accompanying other inflammation of the respiratory tract: pharyngitis, laryngitis, adenoiditis. Improper treatment or transmission of the disease to chance can cause the development of bronchitis and even pneumonia. How does the disease and how to treat laryngotracheitis in adult patients?

The causes of the disease

The culprit for the development of acts laryngotracheitis infection, most often viral:

  • flu;
  • parainfluenza;
  • adenovirus;
  • chickenpox;
  • rubella;
  • measles;
  • SARS.

Bacterial disease can be triggered by living in the respiratory tract by microorganisms in a combination favorable for the development of infection factors: hypothermia, reduced immune defense, the frequent recurrence of SARS. But most often the culprit laryngotracheitis comes from outside, from an infected person. Usually transmitted by airborne droplets, but can also go with handshakes, hugging, sharing items. Among the culprits can be found:

  • staph;
  • chlamydia;
  • beta-hemolytic Streptococcus;
  • pneumococcus;
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

If the human immune system works «as it should» and not weakened by previous or chronic diseases, and other factors of infection in most cases does not occur or the treatment of laryngotracheitis in adults, previously healthy, patients will be much easier.

The risk of disease is higher in people with chronic systemic diseases (diabetes mellitus, gastritis, hepatitis), lesions of the respiratory system, ranging from sinusitis and ending with bronchial asthma. The disease may «run wild» because of the constant contact with irritants, dust inhalation, and chemical compositions under adverse ambient air space, for example, the suffocating heat is too low or high humidity, negative temperatures.

People who are constantly working on duty with the voice and forced straining of the ligaments from day to day, are often prone to chronic course of laryngitis and laryngotracheitis. Smoking is an extremely favorable factor for the development of inflammation.


Depending on the duration of the disease, there are acute (between 7 days to 4 weeks) and chronic (from a couple of months to many years) the shape of laryngotracheitis. Chronic lesions of the larynx and trachea occurs with periods of attenuation of symptoms and exacerbations, which generally fall on the offseason and winter.

Based on the changes of mucosal tissues, experts also highlight the three kinds of affliction:

  1. Catarrhal.
  2. Hypertrophic
  3. Atrophic.

Another classification is associated with a pathogen. Laryngotracheitis can be viral, bacterial or mixed when mixed with a viral inflammation of the bacterial infection.


In the majority of cases signs of acute inflammation of the trachea and larynx arise on the background of respiratory inflammation characterized by fever, discharge from the nose, coughing, sore throat and other familiar phenomena.

  • The cough is rough, dry, experts call it «heckling» or «cawing».
  • Intense cough tremors are often accompanied by a distinct pain behind the breastbone.
  • Most often, the seizures occur at night or in the morning after waking up.
  • Deep breath, laugh, dusty air and bright odors can all trigger an episode of painful coughing.

  • Voice changes: the tone becomes lower, joins a hoarse snoring noise in complex cases may develop temporary Athos.
  • Patient’s exasperated irritation and burning sensation in the throat, desire to cough, sometimes may have a feeling of a foreign object.

In the course of the flow from dry cough becomes wet, the patient begins to cough sputum, which every day becomes more and more liquid. As recovery returns to a familiar voice, and sore, and other unpleasant feelings dissipating.

Chronic laryngotracheitis is characterized by constant or regular violations of voice, frequent cough with a small number of abnormal discharge, discomfort in the throat. During exacerbations of the cough becomes paroxysmal, and the voice is undergoing yet more changes. Patient even after a short conversation, feels tired.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis is made on the basis of complaints and obvious symptoms of laryngotracheitis. Treatment in adults as well as children, dependent, primarily, from the causes of the disease. To identify the perpetrators used laboratory and instrumental methods of examination combined with visual inspection and auscultation methods. To start a successful therapy requires reliable confirmation that the patient is affected with laryngotracheitis and not other diseases that have similar symptoms and clinical picture (diphtheria, foreign body, papillomatosis, neoplastic processes etc.).

Uncomplicated acute laryngotracheitis can be cured in an outpatient setting or even at home, but only after medical examination and investigation. The patient shows symptomatic therapy:

  • frequent warm drink;
  • being in a room cool and humidified air;
  • use as needed antipyretics and nasal vasoconstrictor drugs;
  • limiting the load on the vocal cords;
  • the holding of the inhalation therapy to soften phlegm and moistening the mucous membranes;
  • Smoking cessation, including avoidance of passive contact with tobacco smoke.

Antibiotics for laryngotracheitis is assigned only in adults with bacterial or mixed disease, as against viruses, these medications impotent.

Antiviral drugs to combat SARS, alas, are the means with unproven action, with the exception of anti-influenza drugs. Therefore, their reception from the point of view of evidence-based practice is impractical, however, psychotherapeutic influence the type of «placebo» is possible.In the case of a viral disease the patient is symptomatic using a easy condition until recovery.

To relieve cough in the treatment of acute laryngotracheitis in adults can be used mucolytic and expectorants, which are designed to liquefy sputum and encourage its excretion. The chronic course with frequent and irritating cough, especially at night, perhaps a short-term appointment of antitussive drugs.

In any case you cannot use medications of expectorant and antitussive actions: this tactic will inevitably lead to the development of complications.

In difficult cases, accompanied by proliferation of mucosal tissues, the formation of cysts and other pathological processes occurring in the trachea and larynx, surgical intervention.

Treatment at home

At home to cope with inflammation of the trachea and larynx will help symptomatic therapy, invariably involving excessive intake of warm fluids, inhalation of moist air and other standard techniques to help with SARS.

Effective steam inhalation, however it is advisable be wary of various «additions» in the form of essential oils or herbal infusions: Allergy of the body will only add to the problems, and may cause stenosis.

Replacement medical recommendations folk remedies obviously irrational and dangerous, as most used in the practice of the components of plant origin. And it may cause the development of severe allergic reactions. Besides, some methods based on the use of aggressive substances which could cause burns of the mucous membranes.

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