What Is Epiglottitis?

By james
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When we are eating, it is important that the food we swallow does not go into our lungs, and that it goes down into the digestive system instead. This is achieved with help from the epiglottis, which closes the airways when we swallow. This helps ensure that our food goes down the right way.

When we are not eating then the epiglottis is left open to ensure air can pass through smoothly. Sometimes, however, the epiglottis might develop a problem and it can become very swollen as a result. This can block the passage of air to and from the lungs in what is potentially a very dangerous situation.

1. Epiglottitis

Epiglottitis is a condition where the epiglottis is swollen. This is potentially very dangerous because it can swell to the point where it covers the windpipe completely. This will then mean that air is unable to pass into the lungs, and not being able to breathe is an immediate and real threat to the patient’s life.

There are several potential causes of epiglottitis. They can be caused by viral or bacterial infections, while injury to the epiglottis can also result in the condition. Regardless of the cause, the seriousness of the condition means that the patient must be found immediate medical assistance.


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