Laryngitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the larynx.
The vocal cords are located inside the larynx: the sound of the voice is altered in people with this disease, they suffer from hoarseness.
The disease may occur:
The acute form arises suddenly and is more serious; the chronic form develops more slowly, but lasts longer.
The tone of the voice becomes so weak that it can cause problems when speaking.
As a rule, laryngitis occurs together with:
- sore throat,
- dry cough.
Children may have discomfort breathing.
According to the theories of psychosomatic medicine, reasons for this disease are:
- the desire to avoid speaking with authority figures,
Classification of laryngitis
There are two types of laryngitis:
1. Acute if it lasts less than two weeks.
Acute laryngitis hypoglottica is a condition that affects infants and children under 4 years of age. This is a serious form that leads to swelling of the mucous membrane under the larynx.
The consequences are:
- shortness of breath or shortness of breath,
- dry cough, which subsequently becomes productive and causes sputum.
Acute catarrhal laryngitis is characterized by:
- redness of the larynx,
- changes in voice,
- dry mouth,
- burning in the throat,
- slight cough with sputum.
2. Chronic, if the duration exceeds two weeks.
Laryngitis diphtheriae (also called croup) occurs after diphtheria and causes:
Laryngitis caused by mechanical stimuli occurs after prolonged crying or singing.
In this way, the following become inflamed:
- mucous membrane of the vocal cords,
Laryngospasm (or spastic laryngitis) is a condition that affects children between one and three years of age.
It is characterized by:
- nocturnal awakening with dyspnea,
- persistent cough,
- inhalation sound,
- night sweats,
- Hoarseness or deep voice.
Abscessing laryngitis is characterized by the formation of abscesses, which usually arise as a result of neglected laryngitis.
Patients have the classic symptoms of laryngitis, but also suffer from:
Laryngitis can occur along with other inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, such as:
Causes of laryngitis
- Viral infections (cold and influenza)
- Voice load
- Infections caused by bacteria or fungi
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsils
- Inflammation of the trachea (tracheitis)
- Inhalation of chemical vapours
- Inhalation of irritants
- Alcohol abuse
- Throat cancer
- Nerve damage
- Polyps or ulcers on the vocal cords
- Vocal cord curvature (in old age)
Symptoms of laryngitis
- Dry throat
- Hoarse voice, in serious cases only a whisper can be heard
- Feeling of throat swelling
- Mucus secretion in the throat
- Lymph node enlargement (for infections)
- Acute pain when swallowing or speaking
- Dry cough that becomes productive after a few days
- Difficulty breathing
Diagnosis of laryngitis
To diagnose laryngitis, a medical examination is enough.
The patient must explain the symptoms to the doctor.
The infant cannot speak yet, but his crying sounds different because his vocal cords are inflamed.
If the doctor examines the throat, he usually sees a reddened zone.
Sometimes white plaques can be seen.
The symptoms are similar to those of other conditions, such as:
- Sore throat
- respiratory infections,
- gastroesophageal reflux.
Imaging examination procedures for laryngitis
If the laryngitis has not passed after 2 weeks and the patient has no other symptoms of infection, the doctor may prescribe fibro-laryngoscopy.
In this diagnostic examination, a small probe is inserted into the throat up to the larynx.
The endoscope is equipped with light and camera to examine the larynx.
If tumor is suspected, a biopsy must be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Treatment of laryngitis
The immune system can cure laryngitis in case of a viral infection. To best support this process, it is recommended:
- to use the voice only a little,
- not to strain the neck.
The symptoms are likely to last less than a week. In severe cases, the disease can last for a few weeks or up to a month.
Medication for laryngitis
Which antibiotic to take?
If the cause of laryngitis is a microbial infection, the doctor prescribes antibiotics, especially clarithromycin (Klacid, Clarithromycin STADA).
The drugs help:
- fight the infection,
- reduce inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory: Against inflammation of the larynx, the doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Ibuprofen (Nurofen), for example, can also be taken by children. However, doctors also prescribe ketoprofen (Gabrilen).
Cortisone: Corticosteroids, such as: betamethasone (Celestamine):
- reduce inflammation,
- are effective in relieving pain.
This treatment is indicated only in rare cases, such as urgent treatment needs to restore the voice before concerts or performances. Singers suffer from this problem when they overuse their voice. This inflames the vocal cords and makes them more susceptible to infection.
Cortisone-based drugs can:
- taken orally,
- be used as an aerosol; in this case, the most commonly used medicine is Beclometasone (Ventolair).
Antacid treatment: Use only if the cause of the condition is acid reflux. The doctor may recommend taking acid-binding medications such as Zantic or Antra for about a month.
Do not take decongestant medications: These drugs are not recommended if laryngitis occurs, as they dry out the throat and consequently promote inflammation.
Diet and nutrition for laryngitis
According to natural medicine, harmful microorganisms only multiply when they find fertile soil, i.e. an organism that is dead, decomposed or full of toxins.
The best way to prevent or cure infections is to rid the blood of the waste products created by improper nutrition.
Slow digestion causes:
- gastrointestinal fermentation,
- Rot of protein-containing foods in the intestine.
The result is an accumulation of toxins that enter the bloodstream.
Slow digestion is caused by:
- Excess of protein – the daily requirement of an adult is less than 70 g,
- incorrect food combinations – for example, the body cannot digest carbohydrates and proteins at the same time.
Fruit and vegetables:
- are quick to digest, and some fruits (e.g. pineapple) contain enzymes that promote the digestion of proteins;
- do not contain whole proteins, but amino acids, which are simple units that make up proteins; in this way, the body does not have to break down protein-containing foods;
- contain all the vitamins and mineral salts that the body needs.
So, for a quick recovery, a diet of fruits and raw vegetables is recommended.
Natural remedies for laryngitis
Protect your voice: Avoid stress on the vocal cords. Do not speak in public and let the vocal cords rest.
Steam inhalation: Steam inhalation supports the relief of:
- Pain in the throat.
Close the bathroom and fill the room with steam by using hot water. Stay in the closed room for 10-15 minutes. In this case, it is important to breathe through the mouth.
However, steam inhalation does not lead to a complete cure.
Home remedies for laryngitis – safe even during pregnancy
Do not whisper: Whispering triggers the inflammation in the larynx. Even if you speak in a low voice when whispering, there is a greater tension on the vocal cords than with normal speech.
Breathing through your nose: A good habit is breathing through your nose. This precaution protects the throat from cold air.
Use a humidifier: A humidifier keeps the humidity in the room constant. Using this device in the bedroom is one of the best ways to treat recurrent laryngitis.
Drinking water: Keeping your throat moist shortens the duration of symptoms.
Keep throat moist: A dry throat worsens the inflammation. One should moisten the throat and gargle with salt water to prevent recurrence.
Mix lemon juice and honey: Both can be added to the tea.
- Bring 250 ml of water to a boil.
- Squeeze a lemon.
- Add lemon and 2 teaspoons of honey to the hot water.
- Allow to cool.
Garlic and ginger: A very effective cocktail is obtained by boiling a piece of ginger root on the stove on a small fire together with a few cloves of garlic.
Wait until the drink has cooled, then drink.
Is laryngitis contagious?
Yes, laryngitis is contagious if the pathogen is a bacterium or a fungus. The infection is similar to other respiratory infections.
Deformation of the vocal cords: If laryngitis is caused by overexertion of the vocal cords, it is not contagious.
Cough: swelling of the larynx causes constant coughing. Also in this case, infection is possible only in the presence of microbes. It is better to classify laryngitis as contagious if coughing occurs.
How long does laryngitis last? When will the voice come back?
If the cause is an infection, the person is contagious for a week.
The healing time is a few days. As soon as the voice returns, it means that the patient no longer has inflammation.
With laryngitis you can go out of the house, but if the weather is cold, you should wear a scarf.