1.What Is Stridor?
Stridor is a high-pitched sound that occurs when you breathe through a narrow or partly blocked airway. Air can’t flow through your lungs smoothly, so it’s harder to breathe. Stridor is usually loudest when you breathe in. Stridor isn’t a condition, but a symptom of something else. It can start suddenly or develop over time.
2.What are the types of stridor??
The type depends on the cause and where it is in your body. They include:● Inspiratory stridor: The sound happens when you inhale or breathe in.● Expiratory stridor: The sound happens when you exhale or breathe out.● Biphasic stridor. This is the sound when you inhale and exhale.
2.What are the causes of stridor?
Stridor can occur in all age groups.● Congenital: Laryngomalacia, subglottic stenosis● Inflammatory: Acute epiglottitis, Acute Laryngotracheobronchitis
Common causes in adults:● Trauma: Thermal injury, chemical/acid ingestion, previous throat procedures (intubation, thyroid surgery, any neck and upper chest surgery)● Foreign body in the airway● Vocal cord injury and paralysis● Neck swelling (eg. Thyroid) causing compression of airway● Neoplasm: any tumor in the airway● Allergy: Severe form like angioneurotic edema
3.When does it become an emergency condition?
Stidor becomes an emergency condition when you have following symptoms:● Gasping for air● Flaring of nostrils when they breathe● Pulls in their neck and chest with each breath● Turning blue● Unconscious● Feeding problems like choking or inhaling food
Consult an ENT/ Head & Neck doctor if these symptoms occur without any delay.
4.How is Stridor diagnosed?● Blood oxygen test: It is called pulse oximetry- measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.● Imaging tests: X-ray, a CT scan, fluoroscopy, an MRI or other scans. They make pictures of your airway and its tissues.● Flexible laryngoscopy: To get direct view of your airway with a lighted camera on the end of a flexible tube.● Bronchoscopy: A long, thin tube called a bronchoscope is used to look into your lungs.v● Spirometry: This test measures how much air you can breathe in and out.
5.What is the treatment for Stridor?
Treatment depends on how severe the airway obstruction is and what’s causing your stridor. Don’t wait to see if stridor goes away without medical treatment. Visit your doctor and follow their advice.
Various treatment options availabe:● High flow O2● Heliox (helium mixed with Oxygen)● Nebulised adrenaline● IV high dose steroids● IV broad-spectrum antibiotics
In severe case:● Endotracheal intubation● Tracheostomy
Stridor is an symptom and not a cause. Hence these are temporary measures to reduce symptoms and ease the patient. Cause must be identified and treated.