Many have experienced the two most common symptoms of laryngitis- hoarseness or voice loss.
These symptoms occur as a result of an inflammation of the larynx which contains our vocal cords. When our vocals cords are inflamed they become swollen, distorting the sounds made by the air passing through them.
Additional signs and symptoms of laryngitis can include a dry cough, sore throat, low-grade fever, itchy throat or swollen glands.
Most cases of laryngitis are temporary or acute and are caused by overusing our voices, viral infections such as the cold or bacterial infections such as diphtheria. Symptoms typically last for a few days.
The best treatments for acute laryngitis involve self-care. It is recommended that you rest your voice, drink plenty of fluids, use humidifiers or menthol inhalers and gargle with warm, salt water. You should avoid whispering, dry or smoky rooms, decongestants, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages and caffeine.
Laryngitis can be also become chronic or long-term. Symptoms lasts more than three weeks and can be brought on by bulimia, smoking, alcohol abuse, GERD (acid reflux), constant exposure to polluted air or second-hand smoke, excessive coughing, sinus disease, injury to the throat or cancer.
Treatments for chronic laryngitis are aimed at treating underlying issues. For instance, doctors may recommend a change in diet in cases in which chronic laryngitis is caused by GERD. If caused by exposure to polluted air, doctors may recommend wearing protective gear. Medications such as antihistamines, antibiotics, pain relievers or glucocorticosteroids may also be prescribed based on the cause of symptoms.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of laryngitis for more than three weeks, you should see a doctor. Medical attention must be sought immediately if you are having difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, have increased pain or a fever that will not subside. To schedule an appointment with a doctor at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, please call 718-206-7001
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.