A virus is the reason that causes most cases of laryngitis, just like a virus causes most cases of a cold. Viruses are contagious and therefore you can acquire any of these conditions from other people who are infected.
Some people develop sinusitis immediately after they catch a cold, while others don’t develop sinusitis at all. Sinusitis is a condition in which the cavities around the nasal passageway become inflamed. The sensitivity may be increased by a nasal deformity like a septal deviation, which is caused by barricaded nasal hallways.
If treated with antibiotics, sinusitis is not life-threatening and no major complications arise from it. Initially, in the past, the infection would spread via the sinus mucus membranes into the bones and sometimes into the brain before it was even diagnosed. Nowadays, it is rare for the condition to progress to that stage.
Sinusitis can be characterized as the following:
- Acute sinusitis: This can be triggered by a cold or an allergy. This lasts for a maximum of three weeks and can usually resolve on its own.
- Chronic sinusitis: This normally goes on for a minimum of three to eight weeks and can even last for several months or years. Chronic sinusitis is caused by an infection or a growth.
- Recurrent sinusitis: This is whereby the condition occurs several time in a year.
Laryngitis may develop from a number of causes. The majority of its victims consider it a sickness that is similar to a cold. Straining of the voice like cheering in a game or addressing a crowd without using a microphone can also cause laryngitis. Swelling of the vocal cords is what is termed as laryngitis. You should visit your doctor if your voice is unusual or hoarse for more than four weeks since it could be a more severe condition like cancer. Symptoms of sinusitis include sinus pressure behind your eyes and cheeks, a runny and stuffy nose, headache, fever, cough, bad breath, mucus draining from the nose, and fatigue or tiredness.
Forms of laryngitis which are less common
Laryngitis can be a result of a severe cough or in some cases can be due to sinus drainage. When you cough, your vocal cords in the larynx, or voice box, constrict. As a result, irritation, swelling and inflammation occur. Laryngitis can also be caused by a gastroesophageal reflux disease that causes reflux laryngitis and a chronic cough. A reflux is where the acid comes up from the stomach and reaches the throat. An ENT doctor is helpful in evaluating whether your laryngitis is a result of a reflux.
In rare cases, acute laryngitis can also be caused by diphtheria, which is a bacterial infection. Diphtheria and pertussis may cause laryngitis-like symptoms, but because most people are immunized against these, these causes are rare.
Whispering while having laryngitis
It is not advisable to whisper while you have this condition. This is because whispering further strains the vocal cords in the larynx. Instead, you should talk in the normal voice and breathe deeply and exhale while you are talking. Do not strain your voice, instead, try to relax it.
Is laryngitis a common infection?
While laryngitis is not as frequent as colds are, it is still a very common condition that affects people. An adult will develop colds almost three or more times annually, while a child may have a cold at least eight or more times annually. On the other hand, the majority of adults suffer from only one attack of laryngitis and will often only suffer from laryngitis once every number of years.
How long does it take for laryngitis symptoms to clear up?
Laryngitis mostly manifests quickly and its symptoms last for no more than two weeks for most people who are affected by it. If you have chronic laryngitis, where your symptoms last for longer than three weeks, then you should immediately consult with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to identify other causes underlying these symptoms and provide the correct treatment.
How to treat viral laryngitis
The best way to treat viral laryngitis is to rest your voice, not talk loudly or sing loudly, and limit your amount of talking. Acute laryngitis often clears up on its own or can be treated with the help of self-care remedies. In chronic laryngitis, on the other hand, it is important to focus on treating underlying causes such as excessive smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and treating heartburn. Ways in which you can treat laryngitis are the following:
- Medicines such as antibiotics may not help with viral laryngitis, but could work well for bacterial laryngitis.
- Sometimes corticosteroids can help reduce the inflammation in the vocal cords.
- Breathe in warm vaporized/humidified air to soothe your larynx.
- Inhale steam from a hot shower or a hot bath.
- Rest your voice and limit your amount of talking.
- Increase your intake of fluids, especially water.
- Keep your throat moist with the help of lozenges or saltwater gargles.
- Avoid the use of decongestants.
- Do not whisper while talking- talk in a normal voice as this will lessen the strain on your vocal cords.
How to treat sinusitis at home
Home treatments are good to relieve the symptoms of a sinus infection. Home-made remedies may improve the drainage of mucus from the sinuses and thus may prevent the need of medicines such as antibiotics. Many commonly used treatments to alleviate symptoms of sinusitis are the following:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water. This helps to keep your mucus thin.
- Apply moist heat to your face or inhale steam from a hot bath or a shower. You can also use a humidifier to breathe in warm air.
- Avoid extremely cold and dry air.
- Use saltwater nasal drops to help keep the nasal passage open. You can also use nasal washes to flush out the bacteria and mucus.
- Gargle with warm saltwater.
- Blow your nose gently, if you find the need to blow your nose. This is because strong blowing could further block your sinuses.
- Avoid smoking and the consumption of alcohol.
- You can use some medicines to treat sinusitis, but this should be only after the consultation with a doctor.
- Straining of the voice like cheering in a game or addressing a crowd without using a microphone can also cause laryngitis.
- An adult will develop colds three times annually while a child may have a cold eight times annually.
- The treatment for colds is the same treatment used in treating viral laryngitis.