Airway Obstruction: Types, Causes & Symptoms
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What causes airway obstruction? 8 possible conditions

An airway obstruction is a blockage in the airway. It may partially or totally prevent air from getting into your lungs. Some airway obstructions are life-threatening emergencies. They require immediate medical attention to prevent death. Types of Airway... Read more

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Swallowed (or Inhaled) Foreign Object

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Anyone can swallow a foreign object. However, infants and toddlers have a natural tendency to put things in their mouths, which puts them at higher risk.

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2

Diphtheria

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection that affects the throat and nose. Find information on diphtheria symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention.

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3

Laryngitis

Laryngitis is when your voice box or vocal cords become inflamed from overuse, irritation, or infection. It comes in both acute and chronic forms.

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4

Epiglottitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Epiglottitis is characterized by inflamed tissue in your epiglottis. It's a potentially life-threatening illness. The epiglottis is at the base of the tongue.

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5

Peritonsillar Abscess

A peritonsillar abscess is usually a complication of tonsillitis or another bacterial infection. Get it treated quickly to avoid potentially serious problems.

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6

Anaphylaxis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Anaphylaxis can occur when you have a severe reaction to certain allergens. Learn what the symptoms are and what to do if this happens.

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7

Chemical Burns

Find information about chemical burns and how to prevent them. Learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of chemical burns.

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8

Retropharyngeal Abscess

A retropharyngeal abscess means you have pus in the tissue at the back of your throat. This often occurs during or after a throat infection. This type of abscess mostly occurs in children under five. However, it ca...

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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