Croup or Croupy cough occurs due to inflammation of the air passages primarily due to a viral infection. This condition is more frequently observed in children in the age group of 0-5 years, but may occasionally affect young adults. The condition needs to be treated promptly in order to prevent pneumonia or a more serious respiratory condition. There are several natural treatment and home remedies available for the management of the condition.
Croupy cough is a respiratory ailment which is caused due to swelling of the airways due to inflammation. This condition is more frequently observed during winters but can be seasonal in nature.
Croupy cough has a sudden and quick onset and the cough is persistent and painful. The condition can be associated with swelling of the vocal cords, palate and the throat. Hoarseness of voice, high grade fever and decreased appetite are some of the common symptoms that are associated with the condition.
What Are The Causes Of Croup Cough?
While most experts suggest that croupy cough is caused due to viral infection which in turn results in inflammation and swelling of the airways, there are certain theories that explain the onset and symptoms associated with the condition,
- Alveolar hyperventilation, caused due to breathing in more air than required, results in the drop of carbon dioxide levels in the body. This condition is called hypocapnia which in turn promotes inflammation and constriction of the air passages, due to irritation of the nerve cells.
- This makes the immune system dysfunctional which in turn makes the individual prone to viral infections. As a result of viral infections croupy cough becomes contagious and spreads rapidly through droplet nuclei.
Home Remedies For Croup
Considering that the condition affects young children and is highly contagious hand-washing and household hygiene are highly recommended. However there are host of other natural home remedies and treatments that can help in management of the condition,
- Strict nose breathing is recommended.
- Raw honey is very useful in the treatment of croupy cough. Honey has strong anti-microbial properties which prevent the infection. In addition, honey is also very soothing to the throat reducing symptoms of throat irritation and burning.
- Add a tablespoon of turmeric to a glass of milk and drink thrice a day. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties which reduces swelling and inflammation of the air passage.
- Homeopathic remedies like Antimony Tart are considered to be very useful in the management of harsh cough. Ant tart helps in reducing inflammation of the air passage and also plays a vital role expulsion of mucus accumulated in the airways.
- Steam inhalation with essential oils like tea tree has been found to be useful in alleviating the symptoms of croup attacks.
More severe conditions may require steroid inhalers or injectable steroids to control the progression of the disease. Hospitalization, may be required is severe cases, especially if the condition deteriorates rapidly.