People who suffer from laryngitis either experience chronic or acute symptoms. Chronic laryngitis is more severe, as it is long term, whereas acute is short term. Essentially, laryngitis occurs when the vocal cords or voice box become inflamed due to overuse or infection, but chronic laryngitis is caused by environmental factors that continually irritate the vocal cords. Other causes of chronic laryngitis include frequent sinus infections, acid reflux, smoking, and more.
Symptoms of chronic and acute laryngitis are similar, but chronic symptoms are more persistent. These include weakened voice, a dry throat and cough, minor throat irritation, and a potential loss in voice. If your infant or child have symptoms of laryngitis, it could possibly be croup, a much more serious form of laryngitis. They will experience extra symptoms, such as troubles swallowing and breathing, extra saliva, a high fever, and a heavy cough. At MDProactive, we cannot treat croup, so if your child is experiencing these extra symptoms, get medical help right away.
Before using our services, make sure to perform a visual check of your throat or have someone check for you. If the back of your throat looks irritated or red, or if they notice any swelling, you could have laryngitis. Your voice box will show lesions as well.
The treatment for acute laryngitis is relatively simple-if it is caused by a virus, it will go away without antibiotics, though we can prescribe medication to ease the swelling and pain that goes along with it. If it is caused by bacteria, then you will be prescribed antibiotics; the good thing is that bacterial laryngitis is rare. There are many things you can do at home to help alleviate pain and speed up the recovery process. It is important to stay hydrated so drink plenty of fluids; gargling with salt water can also help. If you want medication, use cough drops rather than taking any decongestants, which can dry out your throat even more. Make sure to rest your voice and don’t yell or whisper, as both strain your vocal cords. Using a humidifier can also help alleviate dryness.
Once you are feeling better, it is important to take steps to avoid getting laryngitis again. Keeping your vocal cords and voice box healthy means avoiding irritants, such as smoking. Obviously, avoid smoking as a general rule, but it is also good to avoid being around a lot of smoke. Clearing your throat too much can cause more mucus production and is an irritant to the throat, as is toxic chemicals in the work place. By limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, you can help keep your vocal cords healthy, along with developing good hand washing habits to prevent colds.
If you think you have laryngitis, contact one of our professionals online today!