Encyclopedia Home / A / Acute upper airway obstruction

Acute upper airway obstruction

  • Alternative Names

    Airway obstruction - acute upper


    Symptoms vary depending on the cause, but some symptoms are common to all types of airway blockage. They include:

    • Agitation or fidgeting
    • Bluish color to the skin (cyanosis)
    • Changes in consciousness
    • Choking
    • Confusion
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Gasping for air
    • Panic
    • Unconsciousness
    • Wheezing, crowing, whistling, or other unusual breathing noises indicating breathing difficulty

    Signs and tests

    Physical examination may show:

    • Decreased breath sounds in the lungs
    • Rapid, shallow, or slowed breathing

    Tests are usually not necessary, but may include:

    • Bronchoscopy
    • Laryngoscopy
    • X-rays