Laryngitis involves inflammation of the larynx that causes a hoarse or raspy voice. The condition can be acute or chronic. In most instances, it develops rapidly and lasts no more than 2 weeks.
When it comes to a chronic case, the symptoms lasts 2 weeks or longer. A doctor must be consulted since it might be caused by other serious issues.
What are the causes?
- Common cold or flu
- Acid reflux
- Irritation from smoke exposure or allergies
- Overusing the voice
- Using inhaled steroid medications
- Issues with how one talks or sings
For chronic cases, acid reflux is the usual cause but it can also be caused by other severe issues such as polyps, nerve damage, cancer or nodules in the vocal chords.
What are the indications of laryngitis?
The characteristic symptom of laryngitis is hoarseness of voice. The voice might sound raspy, deeper than normal or break every now and then. In some individuals, they might lose their voice entirely.
Other symptoms include a dry or sore throat, difficulty swallowing and coughing. If there are other severe symptoms, it indicates that there is another issue.
In most cases of laryngitis, treatment at home is enough.
- Allow the voice to rest as much as possible. If there is a need to talk, speak in a soft manner but avoid whispering. Remember that whispering irritates the larynx more than speaking softly. Avoid talking on the telephone or speaking loudly unless needed.
- Avoid clearing the throat. If a dry cough is present, a non-prescription cough suppressant can be used.
- Add moisture to the air in the house using a vaporizer or humidifier.
- Increase the intake of fluids
- Avoid smoking or being exposed to other people’s smoke.
For chronic cases of laryngitis, more treatment might be needed. In some cases, surgery is required if the vocal cords are impaired due to the presence of polyps or sores.