Symptoms in children

In children, signs and symptoms of epiglottitis may develop within a matter of hours, including:

  • Fever
  • Severe sore throat
  • Abnormal, high-pitched sound when breathing in (stridor)
  • Difficult and painful swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Anxious, restless behavior
  • Greater comfort when sitting up or leaning forward

Symptoms in adults

For adults, signs and symptoms may develop more slowly, over days rather than hours. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Severe sore throat
  • Fever
  • A muffled or hoarse voice
  • Abnormal, high-pitched sound when breathing in (stridor)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing

When to see a doctor

Epiglottitis is a medical emergency. If you or someone you know suddenly has trouble breathing and swallowing, call your local emergency number or go to the nearest hospital emergency department. Try to keep the person quiet and upright, because this position may make it easier to breathe. Don't try to examine the person's throat yourself. This can make matters worse.

Oct. 02, 2012

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