Croup is a viral infection that causes swelling or inflammation of the vocal cords. This condition is common in little children of between 3 months and 6 years, but may sometimes affect adults. Croup affects more males than females, notes Medscape.
When croup affects adults, its symptoms are rarely severe. This is because adults have larger and better developed vocal cords when compared to those of children. Inflammation or swelling of adult vocal cords does not have much effect since they can still function in a normal way.
When croup affects children, the swellings of the voice box and windpipe may cause multiple symptoms. In severe cases, the child may have difficulty in breathing because the swellings block these passages. Children are likely to develop a cough that sounds like the bark of a dog. A hollow, raspy noise may also be heard as the child strains to breathe.
Humidifying the bedroom can help in managing the condition. In bacterial cases, treatment may require antibacterial therapy. Most cases of croup are mild and tend to resolve within 5 or 6 days, according to WebMD. If symptoms appear severe in adults or children, the best thing to do is seek immediate medical attention.