What is it?

Laryngitis occurs when your voice box (larynx) becomes inflamed and your vocal cords become swollen and cannot vibrate properly. This causes you to sound hoarse or to lose your voice. Normally you will recover from laryngitis without treatment.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of laryngitis can begin suddenly and usually get worse over a period of two to three days. Common symptoms of laryngitis include:

  • Hoarseness.
  • Difficulty speaking.
  • Sore throat.
  • Mild fever.
  • Irritating cough.
  • A constant need to clear your throat.

The hoarse voice and speaking difficulties usually get worse each day you’re ill and may last for up to a week after the other symptoms have gone. In a few cases, the larynx can swell and cause breathing difficulties. This isn’t common in adults but can occur in young children who have smaller, narrower windpipes.

Laryngitis is often linked to another illness, such as a cold, flu, throat infection (pharyngitis) or tonsillitis, so you might also have other symptoms such as:

  • A headache.
  • Swollen glands.
  • Runny nose.
  • Pain when swallowing.
  • Feeling tired and achy.

What to expect?

As patients with laryngitis often recover from it without treatment, you can also try the following things:

  • Painkillers such as Tylenol might help in relieving pain and fever.
  • Adequate and sufficient rest to voice is advised.
  • Increase intake of fluids in order to maintain hydration.
  • Gargle with salt and water 2 -3 times a day.
  • When infected, avoid contact as much as possible.
  • Hygienic habits like covering your mouth while coughing , washing hand should be practiced.
  • Maintain humid environment use a humidifier at home or take steam inhalation.
  • Home remedies like herbal tea can prove beneficial.
  • Stay away from school or work when infected in order to prevent further spread of infection.
  • Seek the help of a medical professional if complaints persist in order to avoid complications.
  • Do not whisper or try to strain your voice as it can irritate the inflamed larynx and worsen the pain.
  • Avoid taking decongestants and antihistamines as much as possible as it is known to contribute to increase in dryness of throat.
  • Avoid self medicating yourself and taking over the counter prescriptions even if symptoms are mild, as it can be very dangerous.
  • Reduce intake of caffeine, spicy food and other beverages as it can aggravate acid reflux which is also a cause for Laryngitis.
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol consumption.

Seek consult with your GP if the following occurs:

  • Symptoms persists for more than 2 weeks.
  • Symptoms become severe.

Think you might have Laryngitis?

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Think you might have Laryngitis?