Laryngitis is a medical condition that is characterised by the inflammation of the larynx (voice box). It could be acute or chronic. While the former develops suddenly and is more severe, the latter develops slowly and has a long-lasting effect. Since the vocal cords (either of the two pairs of folds of mucous membrane that vibrate to produce voice) lie inside the larynx, the quality of the voice is adversely affected in people affected by this condition. The voice becomes raspy and hoarse. In some cases, the voice becomes so weak that it can hardly be heard. The affected person may also suffer from rawness in the throat and dry cough. Children who are affected may have difficulty in breathing. Congestion, ticklish sensation in the throat, sore throat, dry throat, and the urge to constantly clear the throat are the other common symptoms.
Contributing Factors for Laryngitis
Here are some of the common causes of this condition:
Vocal cord paralysis
- Viral infections such as cold and flu
- Acid reflux disease (regurgitation of the gastric juices or the contents of the stomach towards the oesophagus)
- Vocal strain (shouting or singing for long periods)
- Inhalation of chemical fumes or irritants
- Alcohol abuse
- Bacterial/fungal/parasitic infections
, nerve damage
, polyps or growths on vocal cords, or bowing of vocal cords in old age could also cause this condition.
Home Remedies for Laryngitis
The most effective home remedy is proper resting of the voice box. In other words, the affected person should not indulge in speaking loudly or talking for a long time, which otherwise would cause worsening of the larynx inflammation.
Do Not Whisper:
Whispering triggers the inflammation of the larynx. Even though whispering is speaking in a low voice, it puts more strain on the voice box than normal speaking. Thus, the affected person should avoid whispering as much as possible.
Breathe Through the Nose:
One of the natural laryngitis cures is breathing through the nose. This ensures that the throat is not exposed to cold air and does not dry out, which are observed in case of breathing through the mouth.
Inhalation of steam and steam bath are effective home treatment methods
to cure this condition. Take steam inhalation using a bowl of hot water. For a steam bath, close your bathroom and fill it with steam by running very hot water. You can then stay in the bathroom filled with steam for about 10-15 minutes.
Using a Humidifier:
A humidifier helps in maintaining the recommended humidity level in a room, which in turn prevents a dry environment. Hence, using a room humidifier is also one of the best cures for this condition.
Drink Lots of Water:
Keeping oneself hydrated helps in shortening the duration of the symptoms. Drink ample amounts of water every day (8-10 glasses) to get relief from larynx inflammation.
Lemon and Honey Mixture:
You can have tea, prepared with lemon and honey. Boil about 250 ml of water and then squeeze in one lemon and add 2 teaspoons of honey. Drink after the solution cools down.
As a dry throat worsens the inflammation of laryngitis, moistening the throat is a good measure for overcoming this problem. You can gargle with saline water or chew a piece of your favourite chewing gum.
Say No to Decongestants:
Decongestants are strictly not recommended during the onset of laryngitis symptoms. The main reason behind this is that these medications lead to a dry throat, resulting in exacerbation of the condition.
Avoid Throat Cleaning:
With such symptoms like a dry and sore throat, it is quite tempting to cough and clean the throat. Coughing and/or cleaning throat increases the degree of irritation to the larynx, and hence should be avoided as far as possible.
Another remedy is to refrain from smoking or inhalation of other hazardous fumes. Smoke and fumes worsen the condition of the larynx, and hence it is advisable to minimise exposure to such irritants for the treatment of this condition.
Take appropriate measures to prevent upper respiratory infections
. Do not overlook the need to drink plenty of water. Keeping the body well hydrated will certainly prove beneficial. Lastly, using a humidifier at home also helps reduce the risks.