John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Conditions that cause epiglottitis include infectious, chemical, and traumatic agents. Infectious is the most common. H influenzae type b was once the most common cause prior to vaccination. Currently, other organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi are the causes, especially among adults.
Other types of epiglottitis that are environmental and not caused by infection include heat damage that may injure the epiglottis, called thermal epiglottitis. Thermal epiglottitis occurs from drinking hot liquids, eating solid foods, or using illicit drugs such as inhalation of metal pieces from crack cocaine pipes or the tip of
marijuana cigarettes. In these cases the epiglottitis from thermal injury is similar to the illness caused by infection.
In very rare instances, epiglottitis may be caused by allergic reactions to food, insect stings or bites, or blunt trauma to the neck or throat.