Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx. It causes hoarse voice or the complete loss of the voice because of irritation to the vocal folds (vocal cords).The larynx, or -gitis is often due to persistent acute laryngitis and commonly affects smokers. Because cancer of the larynx may cause hoarseness, a person whose symptoms persist more than a few weeks should be evaluated for cancer (see Nose and Throat Cancers: Laryngeal Cancer ). Treatment of viral laryngitis depends on the symptoms. Resting the voice (by not speaking), drinking extra fluids, and inhaling steam relieve symptoms and help healing. Treating bronchitis, if present, may improve the laryngitis. An antibiotic is given only for infection caused by bacteria.
Causes of Laryngitis
Certain viruses or bacteria can infect the larynx, or voice box, and cause it to swell. This produces irritation and soreness, and changes your voice, making you sound hoarse and unable to speak above a whisper, or even causing you to lose your voice entirely for a few days. Usually, the virus comes from another ailment, such as a cold, the flu, or bronchitis. Overuse of your voice, by screaming or shouting for long periods, can worsen the irritation and swelling produced by the infection. Smokers and people who work around fumes to which they are allergic often have chronic laryngitis
Signs and symptoms
Laryngitis often makes you feel the need to constantly clear your throat. Other signs and symptoms may include:
* Weak voice
* Tickling sensation and rawness of your throat
* Sore throat
* Dry throat
* Dry cough
In acute laryngitis from a viral upper-respiratory infection, the voice becomes hoarse or is reduced to a whisper.
The most common symptom of early mild 'irritative' laryngitis is a feeling of postnasal drip with chronic throat clearing due to a sensation of secretions in the throat.
Treatment of Laryngitis
It may be necessary to place a breathing tube into your throat in order to breathe for you (the procedure is called intubation).
Drink warm liquids such as tea or a honey-lemon drink.
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthen the body and treat disease. Herbs, however, contain active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For these reasons, herbs should be taken with care and only under the supervision of a practitioner knowledgeable in the field of herbal medicine. Also, your physician should know about all herbs you are taking or considering taking.
There have been few studies examining the effectiveness of specific homeopathic remedies. A professional homeopath, however, may recommend one or more of the following treatments for laryngitis based on his or her knowledge and clinical experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person's constitutional type
Can I Prevent It?
To prevent laryngitis, try not to talk or yell in a way that hurts your voice. A humidifier that puts more water into the air may also help keep your throat from drying out. Also, never smoke and try not to be around people who are smoking.
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