Parents of small children know all too well the sharp, telltale cough that wakes the entire household in the wee hours of the night. It’s a dreadful, agonizing sound – somewhere between the bark of a circus seal and a broken foghorn.

Most common during the onset of fall and spring, it’s the unmistakable, unfortunate calling card of “The Croup.”

What you may not know, however, is that your child did not “catch” the croup on the playground or in a crowded doctor’s office or on the bus – or anywhere, for that matter. Croup, itself, is not a disease. It’s the result of an inflammatory reaction that can be triggered by several different viruses.

Croup typically manifests with tracheobronchitis, or an inflammation of the voice box and vocal cords, otherwise known as the larynx. Occasionally the bronchi – air passages of the lungs diverging from the windpipe – are also affected.

You may also be surprised to learn that some children are more predisposed to croup, due to their physiological makeup.

Approximately one out of five people are considered “atopic,” meaning that their inflammatory response reacts disproportionately to environmental and viral triggers that affect others only mildly.

The normal state of sensitivity in a person’s airways is typically mild. When a trigger event occurs, however – a change in the weather, viral infection, or even an emotional upset – reactivity kicks into gear and symptoms become more prominent. This happens with croup, just as it happens with migraines, stomach issues, skin sensitivity, and so on.

For individuals who have won life’s lottery bestowing them with higher sensitivity their reactivity baseline is greater. So, when that trigger happens, the turbulence is equally great – causing increased swelling and narrowing of the airways and resulting in the barking cough that we all know and loathe.

In adults, while viral symptoms may be present, air generally passes without turbulence, making croup a nasty condition mostly seen in kids.

While croup tends to occur suddenly and severely, episodes often can be successfully treated with steroids or specific respiratory inhalers.

But what if you could avoid those late-night barking sessions altogether?

Culex Wellness works with families of atopic children to effectively predict patterns and prevent the irritation and stress of illness before they happen. Through this anticipatory approach, continuous monitoring, and treating conditions with daily medicines before cough or congestion – or croup – ramp up, we can help a child’s reaction to viral infection be milder and far less disruptive.

Our goal is to be continuously proactive regarding who your child truly is: an atopic person with plenty of positivity and support surrounding them. While we may not be able to prevent the turbulence in your life, we can prepare you for it, so that it is not a scary surprise – and moderate it, so that you and your family can enjoy life together to the fullest.

Reach out to our team today to learn more.