Laryngitis, an inflammation of the vocal chords, is a common ailment, particularly during winter flu and cold season. An upper respiratory infection can cause Laryngitis or over-use of your vocal chords, by shouting, singing loudly and talking. Laryngitis can even be triggered by breathing in exhaust fumes and other pollutants, smoking a lot or being exposed to secondhand smoke. Symptoms of laryngitis include loss of your voice or a harsh, raspy voice, pain and roughness in your throat and a dry cough.
Antibiotics are the first line of defense if a bacterial infection causes your laryngitis. These medications will do nothing to help you if your laryngitis has another cause. In fact, they can actually do you harm by causing you to develop an immunity to this type of medication.
Corticosteroids are another medication used to treat laryngitis. This class of drugs is used primarily when a person needs to be able to use their voice again quickly, such as with a vocalist, a speaker or someone who works on the telephone. These are also sometimes used with toddlers who have laryngitis associated with the croup.
Air laden with moisture can also ease the symptoms of laryngitis that isn't caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Using a humidifier helps keep your throat from drying out and exacerbating the symptoms of laryngitis. Choose a model that puts out a warm mist that will evaporate more quickly.
Home remedies for laryngitis include drinking plenty of fluids, such as juices and water; avoiding whispering, which can irritate the throat; sucking on hard candy on lozenges; and drinking a tablespoon or two of raw apple cider vinegar. Some people also swear by a cup of hot tea with honey.
Smoking, and the nicotine you inhale when smoking can exacerbate a case of laryngitis. Even breathing in second-hand smoke can be irritating. It's best to limit your cigarette intake when you are battling laryngitis as well as steer clear of your friends who are heavy smokers and smoking patios or clubs.
Arguably the best, and certainly the easiest, remedy for laryngitis is to rest your voice and avoid speaking or singing. Now, that's not always easy for those who use their voices to make a living, such as public speakers and vocalists but resting your vocal chords as much as possible will help to ease the inflammation.
Drinking plenty of fluids will help keep your throat moistened and help to ease the inflammation. This also helps to prevent dehydration, which can worsen your laryngitis. Of course, this means drinking "good" fluids, such as juice and water, not fluids that can dehydrate you, such as coffee and alcohol.
As mentioned above, drinking alcohol and caffeine drinks, like sodas and coffee, when you have laryngitis is counterproductive. Not only will these beverages tend to dehydrate you, but they will dry out your throat, making the irritation worse. Plus, who wants a caffeine or wine buzz when you're not feeling well already.
Warm salt water may sound unappealing, but it's actually very soothing. Plus, the salt in the water has a natural healing effect and helps to reduce any swelling. For the best results, use a coarse salt like sea salt or kosher salt, and add two tablespoons of salt to an eight-ounce glass of water.
Pain medicine, such as NSAIDs can be useful in helping to relieve the pain that often accompanies laryngitis. However, be careful in your use of these over-the-counter medications. They can irritate your stomach, and long-term use has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.