Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box or larynx. The larynx contains the vocal cords. These two bands of muscle vibrate and create sound when talking. This medical condition can make the voice sound hoarse and raspy, and it may be difficult to speak without pain.
Laryngitis is usually caused by a virus, such as the common cold, but it can also be caused by bacterial infection, allergies, acid reflux, overuse of one’s voice, or smoking. Laryngitis is most common in adults between 40 and 60, but it can occur at any age.
The symptoms of laryngitis are typically worse in the morning and improve as the day goes on. However, they may get worse with talking or singing. Symptoms usually last for less than two weeks. However, if laryngitis is caused by acid reflux or smoking, it may be chronic and require long-term treatment.
It is best to see a doctor for individuals having difficulties swallowing or breathing, as these could be signs of a more severe condition. Laryngitis is typically diagnosed based on the symptoms and a comprehensive physical examination. Here are the most common remedies for laryngitis.
Rest the Voice
While it may be instinct to whisper when one has laryngitis, speech therapists believe this action may be straining the vocal cords. Therefore, whispering will not treat hoarseness, nor will it alleviate laryngitis symptoms.
According to studies, whispering may damage the voice box more than regular speech. Therefore, for professionals whose voice are their bread and butter, it is recommended to rest the vocal cords instead of whispering to prevent straining the vocal cords.
The vocal cords are made of two muscle strips in the voice box covered by a tissue lining. Straining these folds can lead to hoarseness when one attempts lower tones, catching a cold, or having a sinus infection. Therefore, talking or whispering can make the hoarseness worse. External stressors such as dry air, drugs, dust, caffeine, alcohol, and cigarette smoke can also wreak havoc on the voice box.
The easiest and safest course of treatment is to rest the voice for a few days. Ideally, an individual with laryngitis must refrain from talking or whispering for at least three days to ensure a speedy recovery. In addition, one should avoid coughing, crying, and clearing the throat, as this can slow healing.