Laryngitis symptoms normally start unexpectedly and worsen within a period of two to three days. The common symptoms for laryngitis are:
- Irritating cough
- A constant urge to clear your throat
- Mild fever
- Speech problems
- Sore throat
Difficulties in speaking and hoarseness normally worsens every day you are sick, and often continues for about a week after symptoms clear. In a small percentage of laryngitis patients, the larynx swells and leads to difficulties breathing. This is more common in babies whose windpipes are small and narrow.
Other conditions like an infection of the throat, flu, tonsils or cold are associated with laryngitis. Other symptoms may include:
How to treat laryngitis
The majority of laryngitis patients recover in a period of a week without treatment. If your symptoms persist or become severe, consult your doctor.
Follow these simple rules for a quick recovery
- Do not smoke and keep away from environments that are smoky, dusty and dry.
- Prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids, especially water
- To ease headaches, fever and any pain associated with laryngitis, take painkillers like ibuprofen or paracetamol
- To help sooth a sore throat, gargle salt and warm water. Lozenges can help as well.
- To soothe your windpipes and keep them clear, use air humidifiers and methanol inhalation.
- Minimize the amount of speech and talk softly. You should also avoid whispering, as this can strain your larynx even more.
How to treat the basic causes of laryngitis
The causes of laryngitis can sometimes be treated. For instance:
- Antibiotics can be used to treat bacterial infections
- If your laryngitis is a result of consuming alcohol or smoking, minimizing this or quit entirely.
- GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) can be treated using drugs to minimize the quantity of acid generated by your stomach.
- If your laryngitis is a result of an allergy, treat this avoiding by avoiding its catalyst or regulate your body’s reaction to the substance by taking antihistamines.
- Vocal therapy can help treat laryngitis, if it is caused by straining your voice. This involves language and speech therapy that monitors your voice usage and how this may affect your symptoms. To avoid further damaging your larynx, you will be educated and advised on how to modify your voice via exercises.
Is it possible to prevent laryngitis?
It is difficult to prevent laryngitis because it is caused by a viral infection.
You can, however, minimize the chances of getting laryngitis by doing the following:
- Ensure you get a flu vaccine
- Exercising good personal hygiene like washing your hands every time you use the bathroom, or before and after meals.
- Keep away from individuals suffering from respiratory infections like the flu or cold, especially if you are more susceptible to laryngitis
- Avoid irritants like dust or smoke
- Quit smoking
- Limit your alcohol consumption
- Since clearing your throat regularly can irritate the larynx, avoid it as much as possible
- To protect your larynx from any acid reflux when you are sleeping, use pillows to raise your head when you go to bed
- Avoid shouting or singing in a loud voice for a prolonged period to avoid damaging your larynx
- The majority of laryngitis patients recover in a period of one week without treatment.
- It is difficult to prevent laryngitis since it is mostly caused by a viral infection like the flu or cold.
- Laryngitis symptoms normally start unexpectedly and worsen within a period of two to three days.