Types and Treatment of Laryngitis

Types and Treatment of Laryngitis

Laryngitis causes a swelling of the vocal cords which can affect your audibility, performance of day-to-day functions and overall health. While sufferers may exhibit the same symptoms, not all cases of Laryngitis are the same. There are different types of Laryngitis. Its causes, origins and level of discomfort will determine the proper treatment method.

Types of Laryngitis

  1. Acute Laryngitis – Most cases of Laryngitis only create mild discomfort and can be treated at home. Common causes of Acute Laryngitis are:
  • Viral infections similar to the ones that cause the common cold.
  • Vocal strain; overusing your voice.
  • Bacterial infections such as diphtheria.

Acute Laryngitis can clear itself within 1 week with proper treatment.

  1. Chronic Laryngitis – If your Laryngitis takes more than 1 week to heal, you may have Chronic Laryngitis. Untreated, this type of Laryngitis can cause strain, injuries or growths of polyps or nodules on the vocal cords. Among the probable causes are:
  • Inhalation of irritants such as smoke, chemicals and allergens.
  • Acid reflux.
  • Chronic sinusitis.
  • Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Frequent shouting or yelling; cheerleaders, coaches and singers.
  • Habitual smoking.

On a lesser scale, Chronic Laryngitis may be caused by:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Fungal infections
  • Parasitic infections

If you have sexual contact with a partner that has genital warts and engage in oral sex, the warts could manifest in your throat and cause Laryngitis.

More severe cases of Chronic Laryngitis may lead to the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Progressive deterioration of the vocal cords

Treatment of Laryngitis

As mentioned Acute Laryngitis can clear up on its own assuming proper treatment is regularly undertaken.

In its initial stages, gargling an antiseptic mouthwash every 1 to 2 hours in combination with prolonged rest of the vocal cords should suffice.

However, if symptoms persist or if there is no improvement in the condition, you could have Chronic Laryngitis. The telltale sign is if your condition or health starts to worsen. Your first course of action is to see your doctor.

After reviewing your history or running a diagnosis, your doctor may prescribed either of the 2 remedies:

  • Antibiotics – If the doctor’s tests indicates the possibility of a bacterial infection, he or she may prescribe antibiotic medication. However, if the finding show source of Laryngitis is viral, an antibiotic will not work.
  • Corticosteroids – A doctor may recommend corticosteroids if the swelling of the vocal cords is progressive and is causing great discomfort. A corticosteroid is used to bring down swelling. Doctors also prescribe corticosteroids if there is an urgent need to reduce the swelling. For example, if you are a singer or public speaker.

Healthful Tips and Home Remedies for the Treatment of Laryngitis

You can prevent Laryngitis before it happens simply by following these simple tips and home remedies in case you are already at risk:

  1. Maintain Moist Air Environment – Use a humidifier to keep air throughout your rooms moist. You should also use warm water when taking showers.
  1. Rest Your Voice – Even if your job requires you to talk or speak frequently, take some time to rest your vocal cords. Also, speak in modulated tones and avoid raising your voice whenever possible. If available, use a megaphone or microphone when addressing large crowds.
  1. Stay Hydrated – Whenever you feel your throat has gone dry, drink water. Minimize your intake of coffee and alcohol as these types of beverages can cause dehydration.
  1. Keep Your Throat Moist – Another trick is to use throat lozenges when speaking for extended periods of time. Some lozenges contain anti-bacterial substances which will protect your vocal cords from germ growth.
  1. Take Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider Vinegar has many health benefits. It contains acetic acid which eliminates germs in your throat and contains anti-bacterial compounds. Gargle 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with warm water every 1 to 2 hours.
  1. Drink Ginger Tea – Ginger tea can soothe and cool agitated vocal cords.
  1. Minimize Use of Decongestants – These can actually dry out your throat.
  1. Avoid Whispering – Believe it or not, whispering causes greater strain on the vocal cords than talking!

Laryngitis can affect each and every one of us. But by carefully managing our lifestyle and setting the right conditions at home at work, we can successfully minimize the risk of acquiring it.

What Is Laryngitis?

What Is Laryngitis?

Imagine waking up the morning of a sales presentation and finding out your voice is hoarse and hardly audible. You rush to the bathroom and deep gargle an antiseptic mouthwash and it won’t work. You go to the kitchen and deep gargle water mixed with kosher salt. But it won’t work either.

You have laryngitis and it will take time to cure it.

Laryngitis is an inflammation of your larynx, also called the “voice box”. It can be caused by overuse, irritation, viral or bacterial infection.

Inflammation is the body’s natural defense mechanism when it detects damage or infection in an area. But with Laryngitis, inflammation causes swelling of the vocal chords which distorts sounds from air passing over them. Depending on the extent of the swelling, your voice may be completely inaudible.

Normally and with proper treatment, Laryngitis should clear up within 4 to 5 days. But if it lasts more than 1 week without signs of cleaning up, you should immediately seek professional medical help.

Symptoms of Laryngitis

If your job requires you to do a lot of speaking such as sales, coaching, consultation, singing and teaching you are highly susceptible of developing Laryngitis. You may go to bed feeling normal then wake up with a case of Laryngitis.

Here is a list of warning signs or symptoms that you are at risk of developing Laryngitis:

  • Hoarseness
  • Voice is gradually getting weaker
  • Talking is becoming increasingly difficult
  • Sore throat
  • Dry throat
  • Dry cough

When you notice these symptoms, take immediate action to address the possibility of Laryngitis. These courses of action include:

  • Resting your voice
  • Drinking plenty of fluids; water only
  • Gargling with an antiseptic or anti-bacterial mouthwash

However, you should seek immediate medical attention if the following symptoms manifest themselves:

  • Breathing problems
  • Coughing up blood
  • Persistence of fever
  • Progressive pain in the vocal cords
  • Pain in swallowing

These are warning signs that you may have croup; inflammation of the larynx and the airway underneath it. It may also be a case of epiglottitis, an inflammation of the tissue that covers the windpipe. Epiglottitis could be a life-threatening condition.

Risk Factors for Laryngitis

You may develop Laryngitis a number of ways. Here are 3 causes factors that may leave you at risk of acquiring Laryngitis:

  1. Developing respiratory infection – Afflictions such as colds, bronchitis and sinusitis are caused by viral infections. Colds lead to nasal drippings that irritate the throat and induce coughing. This could result in conditions that induce inflammation in vulnerable areas such as your larynx.
  1. Exposure to substances that cause irritation – People who regularly smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol or those who work in construction and mining are prone to developing Laryngitis. You regularly inhale or intake substances and particles that constantly irritate your larynx.
  1. Overusing your voice – Have you noticed how hoarse and gravely a coach’s voice becomes the longer the game goes? Many popular singers frequently lose their voice due to overuse. People who frequently address congregations such as ministers and those who host seminars are at risk of developing Laryngitis.

If your job or lifestyle requires you to speak or talk often, here are actionable tips to consider:

  • Spread out your engagements to give you time to rest your voice.
  • Modulate your voice when speaking.
  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
  • Manage stress; exercise regularly.
  • Eat healthier; take vitamins regularly to fight off infections.
  • Drink warm ginger tea to soothe your tired vocal cords.

The bottom-line is take care of your health and try to maintain balance in life and work.

So You Think You Have Laryngitis? What Should You Do Next?

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Nothing beats waking up in a weekend. There’s no need to go to school or work if you have Saturday and Sunday off. You jumped out of bed and should have shouted, “Good morning, Mama.” However, you felt a sharp pain in your throat. Worse, you have a hoarse voice that cracks each time you say a word. Spell bad day.

You remembered a lesson from your sister when she once lost her voice, too. Immediately, you checked for symptoms.

Hoarseness of voice? Check.
A sore throat? Present.
Fever? A low rise in temperature.

A dry cough? Ehem. You were still thinking of the next one when you felt difficulty swallowing. You’re 90% sure – it’s laryngitis.

If you forgot what to do in these situations, don’t panic. Let me list down some tricks on how to ease the pain.

1. Hydrate.

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Drink lukewarm water – lots of it. You’re going to need to rehydrate your throat and wash off all the bacteria that has built up. Taking frequent sips of water also helps smoothen the swollen areas.

2. Rest.

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Your larynx needs rest, too. If you have an inflamed voice box, please limit using it the whole time. If your job requires you to talk a lot or sing, minimize using your voice outside work.

It is during these times when you need to employ balance between vocal stress and rest.

3. Stop smoking.

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There’s nothing else to say about smoking that others haven’t said yet. Quit smoking if you want to get better holistically, or reduce your nicotine intake. Since you already have laryngitis, consider having cold turkey in the meantime.

4. Don’t clear your throat too often.

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Your vocal cords have had enough stress. Reduce the frequency of clearing your throat as it adds more injury to your already swollen voice box.

Follow these steps as your vocal hygiene regimen, whether or not you have laryngitis. You should sound better in no time.

4 Tips On Easily Identifying And Detecting Laryngitis

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We experience temporary changes in our voices at least once in our lives. From children to adults, there’s no escape from vocal cord strain.

When your voice box gets inflamed, you are most likely suffering from laryngitis. While most cases of this inflammation may be temporary,
There are instances when you need to check your signs and symptoms before your condition gets worse.

Diagnosis

Laryngitis may either be acute or long-term. Acute laryngitis usually last less than 21 days. Anything beyond three weeks is already considered chronic.

Some vocal cord inflammations are contagious, while some are not. If a viral infection caused your laryngitis, be careful. This disease may be easily passed on to others, especially if you have a fever.

Symptoms

Knowing laryngitis could be contagious should serve as an alert to us. To boost preventative measures and treatment, let me list down the four most common symptoms of laryngitis

1. Hoarseness, vocal weakness or loss of voice.

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Developing a raspy or a strained voice is an early sign that the larynx has been damaged, overused, or infected. While this is a common symptom for laryngitis, long-term hoarseness in your voice may signal another underlying condition.

2. Painful swallowing.

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As the larynx swells from infection, any affected individual could experience difficulty swallowing food or saliva. Similarly, this symptom is present when there is a lesion in your voice box.

3. A dry or a sore throat.

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Another common sign of laryngitis is the presence of a dry or a sore throat, which usually comes with itchiness and irritation. If left untreated, you may also experience some changes in your temperature.

4. Fever.

fever-1

A high fever is a symptom you should always watch out for if you have laryngitis. A rise in body temperature may occur once infection has set in that may cause your laryngitis to be contagious.

If you have all symptoms present, seek medical care at this point.

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Laryngitis

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If your voice box gets inflamed, it’s most probably to be laryngitis.
The larynx, which is often described to be where the mouth meets the trachea, is a cartilage that lines the inside of the breathing tube. Attached to this muscle lining are our vocal cords, protected by mucous membranes.

Inflammation of the larynx can cause hoarseness in our voices or a temporary loss of sound. To some people, this may happen often. To some, they may never have experienced it yet.

To everyone’s benefit, let me list down five facts your mom did not tell you about laryngitis.

1. Duration

There are two types of laryngitis. Any episode less than three weeks is considered acute; anything more than 21 days is chronic.

2. Infectious or not?

Laryngitis caused by an acid reflux disease, allergies, excessive coughing, smoking, or alcohol intake, vocal cord overuse, or extended exposure to inhaled corticosteroids for the treatment of asthma are non-contagious.
Meanwhile, contagious forms of laryngitis include viral, bacterial and fungal types, which may cause or trigger either viral or bacterial pneumonia.

3. Croup

Croup is what we often call the inflammation of the larynx in children, which is often triggered by infection and may cause breathing difficulties to the kids. Croup is usually either viral or bacterial.

4. Dysphonia

In medical terminologies, dysphonia refers to a hoarse voice, and in general, any vocal disease. A speech disorder may cause laryngitis or vice versa.

5. Vocal Hygiene

This habit has nothing to do with brushing your teeth twice a day. That’s oral hygiene. It’s needed, too.

However, to reduce the frequency of having laryngitis and to sound healthy at all times, we can try to implement vocal hygiene.

• Quit or minimize smoking.
• Avoid clearing your throat too often.
• Keep yourself hydrated.
• Rest your voice from time to time, especially in cases of laryngitis.

These are the five things people won’t tell you about laryngitis unless you ask for it or do some research.