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How do you treat croup?

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Quick Answer

Home treatments such as using cool-mist humidifiers, inhaling cool steam in the bathroom and drinking lots of fluids are effective for mild cases of croup, according to WebMD. If symptoms persist, the doctor may recommend medications such as epinephrine and dexamethasone, reports Mayo Clinic. Severe cases may require hospitalization. In rare cases, doctors may temporarily place a breathing tube in the patient's windpipe to help him breathe.

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Steam therapy and cool mist often dissolves the dried mucus in the breathing passage, reports WebMD. Cool mist or steam also lubricates the windpipe and helps treat croup. Another effective treatment is for the caregiver to steam up a bathroom and have the patient stands in it. It is better to open the bathroom window slightly, as cool steam is more effective than hot or warm steam.

Riding in a car or sitting in cool night air can improve croup symptoms, reports MedicineNet. Saltwater nasal drops can open the nasal passages and help the patient breathe better. Drinking plenty of fluids loosens phlegm, notes WebMD. The patient may take acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.

Doctors prescribe oral corticosteroids for patients with the worst symptoms or noisy breathing, according to WebMD. These drugs reduce swelling and inflammation. If the symptoms worsen, the patient must go to the emergency room. The doctor may prescribe inhaled medications such as racemic epinephrine. The doctor may also request for an X-ray and require the patient to stay overnight for further observation.

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