Croup - I thought adults didn't get it? .....

May 02, 2010 - 32 comments

Ugh - up all night with my 17yr old with croup.  She's asthmatic but no asthma involvement -- true, scary croup which resolved in 15mins or we would have been in the ER for certain.  She had bad stridor.  Had her epi pen by my side but she knew it wasn't an allergic reaction.  We did the steam in the bathroom for 15mins and then the head in the freezer for 5 and finally it worked.  Her asthma inhaler was useless since it's upper airway.  She was at the Dr on Thurs for sinusitis and negative strep so now we know why it wasn't strep.  

Will call her Ped today to get a script for Prednisone.  Been years since she's been on that and hope for a better night -- this came out of the blue and they say the 2nd night can be the worst of 3.

17 .... she used to get croup as a toddler/child all the time but it's been years. All I've read here says it's rare in an
adult.

Croup - http://www.medhelp.org/medical-information/show/242/Croup
C~

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by poliakva, May 02, 2010
i would love to find out more about croup in adults!  every thing you read says it does not occur in adults.   i am turning 30 this year and have the croup as i type.  i used to get it horribly as a child with many nights being rushed to the hospital after steam and ice baths wouldn't work.   it seems that basically every time i get a cold or get sick it turns into the croup.  the line of symptoms are always the same a sore throat that leads into bad post nasal drip, that's when i know it's coming.  the pain in the chest comes next and then THE cough.  i just hate that it comes almost every time i get sick.   the severity of the cold will change how bad/long the croup lasts.

i will also say for background that i have very bad allergic reactions to things.   i won't go into anaphylactic shock, but the reactions are severe without killing me.  :)  i got stung by a bee on my foot and couldn't walk for 2 weeks due to swelling even with 3 rounds of steroids.  i have horrible swellings to many insects, reactions to medicines, and everything in between.   i was very intrigued by your statements about your daughter needing an epi pen.  i wonder if there is a connection between people who have allergies or sensitivities to things and getting croup as an adult.

i bet the medical professionals dont think croup happens in adults b/c often it isnt so severe to be rushed to the hospital. (?)  when it comes to children and breathing parents are always on the mind of better safe than sorry but as an adult im less apt to head to the ER.

im hoping to find out more about croup in adults since i think it occurs much more often than doctors think.  plus almost all the stories i read of adults with it had it badly as children.

v

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by ChitChatNine, May 03, 2010
Hi,

My daughter is bee sting allergic and thus, the epi pen.  She also is major league pollen allergic which I think pre-disposes one to allergic croup when ill . It all swells up. Just my two cents.  

She's doing better on Prednisone now and goes for a recheck.

Also, sometimes asthma (reactive airway disease) can be misdiagnosed as croup when it occurs often as you describe.  I'm not a Dr., but this is what our allergist told us.  

Keep me posted!

C~

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by donna25545, May 30, 2010
Just happened onto this site. My 5 year old grandson was just rushed to the ER last night with croup. This was the second time in 2 years. He could hardly breath, and couldn't speak. My daughter takes it serious, but still considers it just croup. I told her if he cannot speak, always call 911.  Was I correct in your opinion?  They kept him in ER for about 4.5 hours.  Hoping tonight is better with the steroid shot he was given.

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by Debbie3966, Jul 20, 2010
I rushed my 8 year old to the ER Sunday with croup.  Couldn't talk, airway constricted enough that he said he couldn't breathe.  Very very scary.  They kept him there for 3.5 hours.

We're going back to the pediatrician today for a follow up.  He's on steroids now but doesn't have any appetite and has an upset stomach even before he takes the medicine.  Is an upset stomach more symptomatic of asthma or croup/virus?

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by aharvey, Aug 05, 2010
My 6 year old has had croup several times and my 8 year old has had it as well. We are very familiar with it and know what to do. Sunday my son had a normal day- no cold or anything. At 12:30am he came into our room to sleep with us (we are trying to break him of that habit) and he was still perfectly fime. At 2:15 he woke up with the familiar cough and I knew we had to get to the hospital, but I wasn't worried sinceI knew what to expect. Within a few minutes we were calling 911 because it had gotten so severe he was turning blue. In the ER he was given 7 recemic epi treatments in 3 hours. He was also put on heliox- a mixture of helium and oxygen and admitted to the ICU. He is now home and doing well, but the doctors are concerned that his croup episodes are getting worse with age and not better. We will see an ENT doctor in a few weeks and hopefully will get some answers.

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by ChitChatNine, Aug 06, 2010
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your comments .. pls. stop back with updates as I really hope everyone is doing ok as of this writing ... Croup is scary when it's serious.  I think the hardest part is usually it catches you off-guard.  Fine with a little trickling cough and then all of sudden full-blown croup/stridor in some cases.

C~

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by PT76, Feb 14, 2011
Hello everybody,

My daughter, now 4 gets croup every year, it never fails that she will get it sometime in December or January.  Her doctor assured me that she would be outgrowing it when she turned 3.  Yeah, that didn't happen.  She got it again in January, and when it happens, it's a sure trip to the hospital for the same routine.  
She was born with acid reflux and I read somewhere that there might be a connection with croup and acid reflux sufferers.  Have any of you heard anything related to this matter?  I feel so helpless when this happens to her and wish that there was something I could do to make this go away FOREVER....

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by ChitChatNine, Feb 14, 2011
Yes, I have heard that .. and my daughter had reflux that we never knew about causing a good deal of vocal chord problems!  After 6 mos on Prevacid they went away .. our ENT went out on a limb to challenge the allergist that she may have been microasperating causing her ongoing asthma (from the reflux at night) and guess what all the pieces fit together!  

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by mom1212, Feb 15, 2011
I am 43yrs. old and believe I have Croup, my baby just had it 3 wks ago. I have the baby seal cough at night to the point I can't sleep, tightness in chest, any suggestions?

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by Lou2011, Feb 16, 2011
I'm 55 and ever since I was diagnosed with discoid lupus (about 9 years) every time I get a cold, I end up with the same type of cough that sounds like a seal barking every night at the same time.It usually starts around 8-9 pm and will have spells all night long. I also can't sleep, have the tightness in the chest. But come morning, these coughing spells end and doesn't start up again till the evening. I started last year doing the same treatments that you would do for a child. It usually last for 4 to 5 days. I also gargle with salt water. I don't remember having croup as a child, but all three of my children had trouble with croup. I also have many allergies to medications and to some foods. It would be interesting for the medical field to do a study on adult croup.

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by AnnieBrooke, Feb 16, 2011
I had always heard to bundle up in a big blanket and sit outside in the cold night.  Maybe I'm reading the wrong stuff?  But mom1212, try breathing cold, cold air.  Apparently it can relax the coughing in a really short time like a matter of 15 minutes.

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by AnnieBrooke, Feb 16, 2011

This is from the abstract of an article called "Adult Croup:  A Rare But More Serious Condition" in the journal Respiration.


"Croup, or acute laryngotracheobronchitis, is typically an infection of children caused primarily by respiratory viruses, most importantly parainfluenza and influenza A [1, 2, 3]. It is characterized by fever, hoarseness, barking cough, and stridor. Since the disease rarely occurs in adults, the epidemiology, clinical features, and outcome of adult croup is largely unknown. Furthermore, the microbiological etiology of adult croup has not been documented in the literature.

"In this study, we report the first case of adult croup with a documented parainfluenza type-3 infection. Furthermore, the clinical characteristics, investigative results, treatment, and outcomes of our case and the other 10 cases of adult croup found in the literature (MEDLINE search 1966–1998) are summarized. Signs suggestive of severe adult croup, and a comparison between the clinical and radiological characteristics of adult and pediatric croup are discussed."

___________________

Obviously it's not common, but at least the literature says it sometimes happens.


.

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by ChitChatNine, Feb 16, 2011
This is all super information!  Wow!  ........ We do the freezer in the middle of the night .. substituting freezer  air for cold night air and use hot steam in the bathroom to help croup.  

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by have 2 kids, Feb 16, 2011
My 11 yr old had croup last week.   He hasn't had it since he was 6 yrs old.  Sometimes he will respond to steam and other times we've had to bundle him up and sit outside,      

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by ChitChatNine, Feb 16, 2011
Sorry to hear your 11yr old had croup.  The freezer cold air idea was told to me by our pediatrician -- she said it works year round and this way you don't have to go outside if it's winter and if it's summer (warm climate) you can always have cold, crisp air available.  (Just open door and the cold air flows outside the freezer door.)

C~

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by shortypenguin, Feb 17, 2011
I'm 23, and have had croup for the last few days--I had it once when I was a baby, and my parents did the shower thing, hot water, steam and my mom would rock me until it got better. I never thought a 23 year old could get it. Started out innocently enough. Friday I had a sore throat, and I thought nothing of it---I had been talking a lot those days and just thought it was strain from that. I was so wrong!

Saturday I had a hard time breathing, and my throat was sore, but since I get tend to get broncitis easily, I thought it was that. So I toughed it out, but started drinking lots of water, and got myself some throat lozengers/vitamins. They seemed to help.

Sunday/monday/tuesday was the worst.

I couldn't talk or breathe very easily. That night I told my mom something had to be done because it was scaring me. She told me ok, and that morning made an appointment with the doctor. Went to the docs and had a step test, which was negative, so she said just to ride it out and use an inhailer for chest tightness. That night I woke my dad and mom up because I was gasping for air, and I couldn't get a good breath in. I ran hot water and it helped, but I was still wheezing/gasping, so my mom made another appointment with another doctor, who gave me a breathing treatment (which helped a lot) and steroids, along with musenex-d to break up any gunk. I was fine, but thirty minutes later I was breathing so hard and not getting enough oxygen, my fingernails were turning blue. So mom rushed me to the ER, where they gave me ANOTHER breathing treatment (with different medicine) and pregnazone. I also got a neck x-ray which revaled I had croup. So I was sent him with pregnazone, which has made a big difference. I'm also running my cold temp humidifyer during the night (and if I feel any tightness I basically stick my face in the mist and it beaks up any coughing/muscus)I could breathe last night, and today i'm not wheezing at all and have been allowed back to school (yay!)

Anyways, long story short, that's my expierence with croup, and I hope it never EVER happens again!! I'll make sure it doesn't!

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by shortypenguin, Feb 17, 2011
er, I meant to say i'm 26, not 23. heh!

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by ChitChatNine, Feb 17, 2011
My pediatrician used to always remind me that Day 1 (night) usually isn't a bad as #2 and #3 ... I am so glad you go the proper meds for such a serious case.  More times than not, my kids ended up on oral steroids along with breathing treatments in a nebulizer :(

C~

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by harawlins, Jul 05, 2011
I'm 29 and I think I may have Croup.  It started with a tight feeling in my chest and a very sore throat, and then I started having a really severe cough at night. It must be either Whooping Cough or Croup because I think I have cracked a rib. Without being tested for anything in particular, my doctor prescribed an antibiotic which seemed to help while I was on it, but now that it's gone, the coughing has come back, though not as bad as it was at first. But whatever it is, it's just terrible! I've tried every cough medicine, hot tea, hot baths, sleeping propped up, and everything else I can think of, but nothing really works. Any suggestions?
I think adults must get this type of thing more often than doctors realize, but we don't go to the doctor or hospital as often. Many of us don't have the insurance!

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by tootie159, Jul 10, 2011
Tootie Jul10 2011

I am 72 and am pretty sure I had croup last week.  Started with sore throat and went on from there.  I went to the doctor and got antibiotics and am getting better but am a little scared when I saw that harawlins croup continued after the meds.  The doctor was puzzled by my symptoms but I failed to mention the barking like a seal.  Just said I coughed a lot.  One more lousey worry in my old age.

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by carolinacougher, Apr 19, 2012
I'm 25 and I have croup. I used to get it every few months starting at 6 months (about 3 or 4 times a year). Once I got to school age, they started diagnosing it as bronchitis, but it was the same barking cough noise. I just went to urgent care the other day because nothing was helping and the doctor was shocked that the cough I had was coming from an adult. They did lung x-rays to be on the safe side since I've also been having fevers and night sweats. I was blowing at a 20 - 50 on a scale of 500 so they gave me a nebulizor (breathing treatment) and some steroid shots. Prescribed clerithromyzen just in case it was whooping cough and Toussin (a hydrocodone mixture). It's helping but my night fevers aren't going away and my cough isn't completely gone yet. Just worries me since it happens so often... I think I'll get a humidifier for the bedroom to try to prevent it from happening. The doctor seemed so freaked out because she said she has never seen it in an adult. Glad I'm not the only one! Wondering if I should ask for a referral to an ENT or some other type of doctor?

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by gymdandee, Apr 19, 2012
Oral steroids often cause vitamin D deficiency it's important to have your D checked.



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by heatherm92, Oct 21, 2012
I'm 20 and I've always gotten the croup since I was about 4 years old. Every time I get sick I dread it because I know I'm going to get the croup. I've tried everything to try and get rid of it or to at least tone it down some so I would be at least able to sleep at night. When I get it, it doesn't last the normal 4-7 days, no it lasts for weeks.  In high school I would still go to classes because the only thing wrong with me was my cough and I wasn't contagious or anything, but that nasty barking cough would always get me looks and stares.  Cough drops don't help, humidifiers don't help, cold air occasionally helps for a while at times, cough medicines only relief the barking for a few hours then it continues again. I've been giving steriods before but they end up taking over 4 days before they will even kick in, and the only way I can even get those is if I have the money to afford to go to the dr. The croup is terrible :( I would never wish this upon anyone ever.  The lack of sleep it gives and how awful it makes you feel and how difficult it makes it to breathe is just one of the worst feelings in the world.

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by Vrl, Oct 26, 2012
I'm 33 and I get croup pretty much every time I get a cold, even a slight one. I was once told at the ER that my larynx is abnormally narrow and therefore it behaves as it would in a small child. I also get severe anaphylactic reactions to certain allergens and everything is exacerbated because my throat can't take that much swelling before closing up. I have two kids so colds are common in this house. And therefore I get croup quite often. I've tried all the natural meds but so far nothing stops the coughing fits except for sticking my head in the freezer (which I can't do all night!). It simply *****.

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by Vrl, Oct 26, 2012
I'm 33 and I get croup pretty much every time I get a cold, even a slight one. I was once told at the ER that my larynx is abnormally narrow and therefore it behaves as it would in a small child. I also get severe anaphylactic reactions to certain allergens and everything is exacerbated because my throat can't take that much swelling before closing up. I have two kids so colds are common in this house. And therefore I get croup quite often. I've tried all the natural meds but so far nothing stops the coughing fits except for sticking my head in the freezer (which I can't do all night!). It simply *****.

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by Broni68, Feb 26, 2013
I'm 44 and have been getting croup for about 11 yrs.  I always get it after catching a virus from someone.  I have the onset of it now and it's scary :(( I hope that one day there will be more help and research done. What does the freezer do?

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by Broni68, Feb 26, 2013
Oh and I have recently been diagnosed with a hiatus hernia which I've had for years. I'm sure it contributes with the acid reflux burning my throat. :( I don't get much help from my Doctors. And have to hassle them to let me take Prednisolone. It's the only thing that helps.


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by ChitChatNine, Mar 14, 2013
The freezer gives "cold night air" to be able to breathe in and help with the croup by restricting the inflammation I think.  Not 100% sure.  But it certainly works in the summer when it's not all that cold out in the US.  My daughter who used to always get croup as a child has been great for years upon years and just two weeks ago (at age 20) she got it but didn't have to go on meds as this time it didn't go into asthma.  YAY!

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by moon720, Jun 22, 2013
Im 22 and I have had a similar cough almost year round for several years now.  People look at me like I'm sick but I always brush it off to my athma. It's embarrassing.  One of my friends even asked me if she could Hey me a beach ball! Well. .. problem is that it comes often and stays. Could this be croup? I just find it weird that it comes so often.  When I cough I often feel lightheaded, weak, faint or develop a migraine.

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by ChitChatNine, Jun 24, 2013
Looking back my child who had croup 6-8 times a year really has asthma and it went into croup-like illness.  I'd definitely speak with your doctor about it and/or see a pulmonologist if you have asthma.

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by Alexwilliam, Nov 08, 2013
I'd get croup as a kid and have it rarely now as a 25-yr. old. My sister didn't believe me when I said I have croup but I know it is. Mine is the worst in the AM. I usually start the shower as hot as possible and let it run with the fan off. I stand in the bathroom for 10-15 with the steam before I eventually take a shower. Usually works to clear my air passages for the rest of the day with a mild cough and some wheezing throughout. At night I feel it come back and wake up with a Darth Vader cough all over again. It's obviously not severe but I do get it as an adult. It's annoying.

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by CathyLand, Dec 04, 2013
I am 55 and was just diagnosed with Laryngotracheobronchitis at the emergency room. while never diagnosed with a smaller then normal trachea, i have trouble swallowing pills normally and and choke easily when eating. the hospital was amazed i had it to the point the trachea was swollen and i had trouble breathing and couldn't talk until a breathing treatment and mega dose of steroids. i do tend to get laryngitis yearly now also for last few years.

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