Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx and vocal cords, which is very often accompanied by hoarseness of the voice or complete inability to speak. It is this feature of the disease that makes us urgently look for medicines and recipes of traditional medicine to improve the condition. And this is quite understandable — not everyone has the opportunity to remain silent for 3-4 days, as recommended by doctors. Let’s learn how to restore the voice in laryngitis and analyze the most popular mistakes of its treatment.
What is laryngitis?
The larynx is located in the neck area anteriorly from the esophagus. It protects the respiratory tract from ingesting food and is directly involved in the formation of the voice.
The larynx consists of several cartilages, vocal cords, and muscles that expand, constrict, and tighten the vocal cords. From the inside, the larynx is covered with a mucous membrane.
The vocal cords are the folds of the mucous membrane that are stretched in the lumen of the larynx and limit the glottis.
In order to make a sound, the ligaments come closer to each other. And the louder the sound, the more intensely they touch, which can cause microtrauma. Therefore, from loud singing or talking “in raised tones” we get laryngitis. By the way, whispering is also not a gentle mode of speech. A normal calm voice is much safer.
In addition, for the normal functioning of the vocal cords, they need sufficient moisture. This is important for their vibration and tight closure.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the larynx and ligaments. The inflammatory process disrupts the structure and function of the mucous membrane, which normally should remove mucus from the trachea to the upper respiratory tract. This is an important defense mechanism, because together with the mucus, dust particles, foreign bodies and infection leave the body. With laryngitis, there is a stagnation of mucus, which causes a reflex cough.
Causes of laryngitis
Laryngitis can be caused by various negative factors that damage the mucous membrane of the larynx:
- Viruses and bacteria. These are most often staphylococci and streptococci. But there may be influenza viruses, parainfluenza, measles, adenovirus infection, pneumococci, the causative agent of diphtheria, tuberculosis or whooping cough. The infection can enter the larynx from the nose, mouth, throat, or paranasal sinuses. It is also not uncommon to throw viruses and bacteria with sputum in bronchitis or pneumonia. Infectious laryngitis can lead to angina, pharyngitis, tracheitis. And if the infection has gone down below – then to pneumonia.
- Allergies. With air, the allergen enters the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract, causing inflammation. Allergic laryngitis most often occurs in the warm season.
- Professional factors. We are talking about people whose profession is closely related to the voice. And these are not only singers, presenters, teachers, but also employees of other industries, where due to the need to be in noisy rooms, you have to switch to shouting. In medicine, there is even such a thing as professional laryngitis.
- Chemical or thermal burn of the mucousmembrane . This can safely include smoking, alcohol and regular intake of too cold or hot food.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease. Under this complex name lies the periodic throwing of the contents of the stomach into the esophagus, and from there into the upper respiratory tract.
- Thyroid insufficiency (hypothyroidism). This condition is accompanied by fluid retention in the body, which is manifested by edema, including the larynx.
- Drugs that cause dryness of the larynx.
As you can see, the causes of laryngitis are diverse and not all of them are associated with a bacterial infection. Looking ahead a little, we can say that laryngitis can be cured without antibiotics, because they are effective only against bacterial infection.
Symptoms of laryngitis
- Discomfort in the throat – burning, scratching, dryness, a feeling of a lump in the throat;
- Pain when swallowing;
- Hoarseness of the voice or its absence;
- A characteristic symptom of laryngitis is a “barking” cough;
- Fever in laryngitis is infrequent.
In children, sometimes laryngitis is accompanied by such a strong edema that it is difficult to breathe. This condition is called false croup. If you hear wheezing, wheezing breath, paleness or blueness of the baby’s skin, then this is a reason for an urgent ambulance call!
Children who have a tendency to severe laryngeal edema are recommended to inhale with epinephrine, dexamethasone or prednisone. Hormones in laryngitis are good, and most importantly quickly relieve symptoms. But these are not harmless drugs and the doctor should calculate the correct dosage.
An experienced ENT can diagnose laryngitis based on the symptoms. You can examine the throat with a laryngoscope or endoscope. This will allow you to assess the condition and movement of the vocal cords.
How to cure laryngitis?
The loss of voice in the modern world can be compared to the loss of legal capacity. Therefore, the natural desire of a person will be to use any possible means in order to speak again. In this state, it is important to think critically and not do anything stupid, aggravating the disease.
How to remove the swelling of the throat with laryngitis?
Let’s list the popular medical recommendations and analyze where and in what case they will be appropriate.
So, effective remedies for laryngitis:
- Antibiotics. In the event that you were prescribed them by a doctor on the basis of laboratory tests that confirmed the presence of a bacterial infection. In all other cases, they are simply not needed. Think about how antibiotics can help you, if the cause of your laryngitis is a “fruitful” evening spent in karaoke, for example?
- Corticosteroids, in particular hydrocortisone, are used for severe edema of the larynx.
- Antihistamines it is recommended in the event that laryngitis was provoked by an allergy.
- Expectorants for laryngitis are prescribed for dryness of the mucous membrane, or in the presence of viscous sputum, which is difficult to cough up. However, it should be remembered that the cough itself irritates the mucous membrane and injures the vocal cords. And the drugs “for coughing” are actually “for coughing”, that is, they do not stop, but on the contrary, stimulate coughing. Therefore, you need to understand how much you need mucolytics for laryngitis.
- Antiseptics for the throat they can be effective in the presence of infection. They come in the form of lollipops, rinses, and sprays. Gargle with laryngitis is not recommended, because it strains the already injured vocal cords. Sprays can be used, but not alcohol-containing. Lollipops are useful because they increase salivation, and this is one of the ways to moisten the throat. By and large, medicinal lollipops can be replaced with ordinary caramel. The effect will be no worse.
- Vasoconstrictor drops for the nose are necessary for severe rhinitis. The fact is that along with the mucus flowing down the back wall of the pharynx, an infection can get into the larynx. In addition, excess mucus can provoke a cough, and this injures the inflamed mucosa.
- Inhalations for laryngitis are quite effective. The main thing to remember the rule – in any case, do not overheat the mucous membrane. Therefore, the ” grandmother’s methods” – to breathe over hot water or freshly boiled potatoes, we will not be satisfied. It is good to use a nebulizer, adding alkaline mineral water to the nebulizer. You can drop a few drops of essential oil into it – peach, coniferous, mint or eucalyptus.
- Silence – rest for the ligaments is perhaps the most important moment in the treatment of laryngitis. If your work is associated with active speech activity, it is better to ask for at least one day off. Silence is gold. This phrase is most appropriate for the effective treatment of laryngitis.
- Copious drinking is very important for laryngitis, because it is one of the ways to moisten the larynx. You can drink slightly warm water, or brew medicinal herbs – chamomile, calendula, St. John’s wort, sage.
- Ventilation of the premises and clean air is a prerequisite for healing.
- Eggnog is an effective folk method of treating laryngitis. It is necessary to add two teaspoons of sugar to the egg yolk and carefully grind. Sugar can be replaced with honey, if there is no allergy to it. The only condition is not to add brandy to the yolk (there are also such recommendations). This will not speed up the effect, and may aggravate the situation.
As you can see, all methods of treating laryngitis are recommended only under certain conditions. There is no universal remedy. Whether you need a particular drug can only be decided by a doctor.
However, on the Internet you can find various “useful” tips that can actually harm your health.
What can not treat laryngitis?
- Any stripes. Even if they are with a whole set of medicinal herbs – the process itself is irritating and injures the inflamed vocal cords. It is worth saying, however, that doctors have an ambiguous attitude to rinsing for laryngitis. Some even recommend them very much. It all depends on the intensity of the process itself. If you like to gargle enthusiastically for half an hour with loud sounds – then this option is clearly not suitable.
- Alcohol-containing throat sprays. Be careful-alcohol often acts as a preservative. It irritates and dries the mucous membrane.
- Folk recipes with alcoholic beverages. Cognac with laryngitis can tone the ligaments for 30-40 minutes. Then you get the opposite effect. Warm beer is generally a dubious product, especially if you consider it as a medicinal product. Well, variations on the theme – cognac + yolk, or beer + honey (it’s scary just to imagine this taste) – will also not work.
- Hot inhalations. A burn of the mucous membrane will definitely not help to cure laryngitis, but only complicate the disease.
And it goes without saying that you should refrain from smoking, drinking alcohol and spicy foods at least for the duration of your illness.
The right approach to the treatment of laryngitis will help speed up recovery!
Read the answers to your questions about laryngitis here