Laryngitis Symptoms and Treatments
Laryngitis is a medical condition characterized by the inflammation of the larynx due to infection, irritation or overuse. The larynx contains the vocal cords, and they usually close and open smoothly, producing vibrations that generate sound. But when the larynx is irritated, your voice becomes hoarse.
Symptoms of laryngitis include hoarseness, weak voice or total voice loss, and a feeling of soreness or tickling in the throat. Other symptoms include dry cough, dry throat, and in serious cases high pitch breathing sounds when you inhale. Other symptoms of severe laryngitis are excessive drooling, difficulty breathing and swallowing. Sometimes the condition may be accompanied by 103 F fever.
If you experience any of these severe symptoms, consult an ENT specialist immediately because if left untreated could get worse. Severe signs and symptoms might actually be indicative of croup or epiglottitis. Epiglottitis is an inflammation of the tissue around the windpipe, and this is a life threatening condition in children and adults and needs immediate medical attention. That’s the reason why any severe symptoms require attention from a medical expert.
Laryngitis may just last a few days if it’s due to a virus, but other cases may take longer. Many cases of laryngitis are caused by viral infections very similar to what triggers the common cold, but vocal strain brought about by screaming or excessive use could also trigger the condition. Laryngitis may also be triggered by the bacterial infections like diphtheria, although this doesn’t happen very often.
To prevent laryngitis, don’t smoke and stay away from secondhand smoke as it can dry up your throat and lead to vocal cord irritation. Your intake of caffeine and alcohol should be minimized as they reduce the amount of water in your body, which is essential for fighting laryngitis. Rather than drink caffeine, drink lots of water instead as it will thin the mucus in your throat and clear it up.
In addition, stop clearing your throat because it leads to abnormal vibration and actually increases the swelling. Furthermore, throat clearing leads to the production of more mucus, which leads to greater irritation.
If your laryngitis doesn’t clear up in a week or two, or the symptoms are severe, consult an ENT specialist so you can get the right ENT services and treatment. An ENT specialist will diagnose your condition and ask how long the symptoms have been manifesting and if they’re getting worse. Once the diagnosis is complete, you’ll be prescribed antibiotics if the condition is due to a bacterial infection.
If you’re suffering from vocal inflammation the ENT specialist might prescribe corticosteroids, but this is only given if the condition has to be treated right away, such as if you need to sing or make a speech.
HK ENT Specialist Ltd.
Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre
For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,
Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,
Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services