Laryngitis is an infection or irritation of the voice box (larynx). The most common cause is a viral infection.
It causes hoarse voice or the complete loss of the voice because of irritation to the vocal folds (vocal cords)
- Loss of voice
- Urge to constantly clear your throat
- Throat pain
- Viral infections such as a cold
- Excessive talking
- Excessive singing
- Excessive yelling
- Cigarette smoke
- Backflow (reflux) of stomach acid into the throat
- Heavy drinking or smoking can lead to chronic laryngitis
- Laryngitis is often caused by a virus or by bacteria.
Prevention and Home Treatment
- Rest your voice. Talk as little as possible.
- Stop shouting.
- Do not whisper as whispering is harder on your vocal chords than talking.
- Avoid clearing your throat.
- If hoarseness is caused by a cold, treat the cold.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid others who are smoking.
- Humidify your bedrooms or whole house, if possible.
- Stay hydrated, drink plenty of liquids; water, orange juice, etc. Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water per day.
- To soothe your throat, gargle with warm salt water ( 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water), or drink weak team or hot water with honey.
- Ibuprofen and aspirin may help alleviate fever and some of the discomfort associated with laryngitis.
- Avoid speaking when possible. Speak softly, but do not whisper.
- Drink warm liquids such as tea or a honey-lemon drink.