Minor injuries to the Adam’s apple or trachea usually do not require treatment, as they heal by themselves. Serious injuries can be caused by an external trauma (e.g., a knock on the edge of the hand) or a traffic accident can trigger the larynx or trachea. This can lead to a possibly life-threatening narrowing of the airways.
In such an injury, the most important therapeutic measure is to ensure breathing, for example by using a breathing tube. The injury can then be treated surgically. Fortunately, such severe injuries to the trachea occur very rarely.
Pain in the area of the Adam’s apple often causes inflammation of the larynx, which is why it is called laryngitis. It often occurs in connection with colds, in which the viruses spread from the primary site of infection (nose/throat) to the larynx. These are mainly viral in origin and are accompanied by reddening of the mucous membrane in the throat.
Frequent symptoms are also tormenting cough and hoarseness. When the mucous membrane swells, the airways become narrower so that breathing can be slightly impaired. If pharyngitis occurs as part of a viral infection of the upper airways, it can be accompanied by a cold, cough and fever.
Pressure pain may be caused by swollen activated lymph nodes in the throat area. The best therapy for a viral infection is to keep warm and rest. Walks in the fresh air additionally activate the immune system and are recommended.
Patients should refrain from smoking, as smoke additionally irritates the mucous membrane and delays healing. The symptoms can be alleviated by warm drinks (tea or milk) with honey, as it lubricates the throat. In general, you should drink a lot.
Similarly effective are sweets that stimulate the flow of saliva and lubricate the throat or may also have a narcotic effect. Steam inhalations or gargling are often perceived as pleasant. The inflammation usually subsides within a few days.
As a prophylactic measure, it is recommended to wear warm clothing in the winter months and to avoid close contact with sick people. The viruses spread by droplet infection, i.e. by secretions and droplets that are released into the air, for example when coughing. The laryngitis can become chronic and lead to persistent vocal cord weakness with accompanying hoarseness.
Therefore, if the symptoms are pronounced, you should definitely spare your voice and consult a doctor. If the inflammation is due to a bacterial infection, the use of an antibiotic may be necessary. Special caution should be taken with children, as laryngitis can be acute and dangerous.
If the mucous membrane in children swells, breathing can be severely impaired due to the narrower airways. Frequently the so-called pseudocroup attacks occur at night and are accompanied by barking coughing and hoarseness. Children between 1 and 5 years of age are particularly affected.
The pathogens are mostly viruses (parainfluenza viruses). The symptoms improve immediately in cold, fresh air, so that it already helps to take the child out into the fresh air and calm it down. At the first pseudocroup attack or respiratory distress, a doctor should always be consulted, as the airways can swell so much that the administration of cortisone or even artificial respiration by intubation becomes necessary.
In contrast to the real croup (diphtheria), which hardly occurs anymore in most countries due to vaccination, the false croup/pseudo croup (subglottic laryngitis) is common. Another rare differential diagnosis is an inflammation of the epiglottis (epiglottitis), which has also become very rare due to the vaccination against Haemophilus influenza type B. In the very dangerous epiglottitis, there is usually no coughing, but rather a dull speech and severe difficulty in swallowing.
The general condition of the child is also greatly reduced. Tumours can also cause pain through invasive growth by displacing other structures. These masses can also come from the thyroid gland, which is located directly under the larynx.
Pain in thyroiditis can also be interpreted as emanating from the Adam’s apple due to its close proximity to the latter. Smokers should consult an ear, nose and throat doctor immediately if their hoarseness persists for more than 2 weeks, swallowing difficulties and breathing problems, as they have a much higher risk of cancer of the larynx. Another rare cause can be neck cysts/fistulas.
Neck cysts/fistulas are malformations that develop during embryonic development and can be filled with fluid. These are present as a median neck cyst (in the middle of the front of the neck) or as a lateral (lateral) neck fistula. If such a structure becomes infected, it can cause severe pain and difficulty swallowing.
The median neck cyst is often discovered in childhood, while the lateral neck fistula is often only noticed in adulthood. Fistulas have an opening to the surface of the skin from which secretions can drain. The median neck cyst can also develop a fistula duct. Both malformations from embryonic development can be surgically removed.