Laryngitis - Easy Natural Home Remedies for Laryngitis
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx or voice box that can cause your voice to become hoarse or raspy.
Laryngitis is usually short-term and doesn't last for more than 2 weeks. However if you find that you are still suffering after 2 weeks, you should check with your doctor because your laryngitis may be caused by more severe problems.
Possible Causes of Laryngitis
There are a few things that can cause laryngitis. The most common form of laryngitis is an infection that is caused by a virus, such as a cold or flu virus, but other causes can be due to:
- Acid Reflux or Gerd (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Overuse or straining of your voice (like cheering or shouting at an event or party)
- Irritation (such as from smoking)
- Bacterial Infection
- Irritants or Chemicals
Symptoms of Laryngitis
Because there are different possible causes of Laryngitis you might not suffer from all of the symptoms listed below, but you will probably recognize enough of them. Laryngitis caused by a virus or cold is more likely to be associated with a fever for example, than laryngitis caused by allergies. Here are some of the symptoms of laryngitis:
- Hoarseness, weak, breathy or raspy voice. (In some cases, you may not be able to speak at all)
- An urge to cough or to clear your throat
- Swollen glands or lymph nodes in the neck
- Sore Throat
- Postnasal Drip
- Stuffy or Runny nose
Home Remedies for Laryngitis
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As mentioned above, laryngitis will normally go away on its own within two weeks without needing any medical care, If however, your symptoms also include difficulty swallowing, severe pain, coughing up blood or a noticeable lump in your neck, you should visit a doctor right away.
This is especially true with children. If a child has laryngitis but also has severe pain, difficulty breathing or is drooling, it is possible that they may have epiglottitis which is a serious condition that requires emergency medical care.
If however, your laryngitis is being caused by one of more menial reasons listed above, there are a few home remedies you can use to make yourself more comfortable until it is has run its coarse.
* Give Your Voice a Break
One of the best things you can do to help speed up the healing process is to simply to give your voice a break. If you do find it absolutely necessary to speak, speak gently and quietly as if you were talking to someone sitting right next to you. Do not whisper however. As strange as it may sound, whispering can actually strain your vocal cords even further.
* Take an Antacid or Acid Reducer Tablet
If you believe that your laryngitis might be due to acid reflux, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or heartburn, then this is the solution for you. Sometimes when acid-rich contents of the stomach make their way back up the throat they can irritate the larynx. This seems to occur more often while sleeping at night.
If you feel a frequent need to clear your throat first thing in the morning when you wake up, have mucus or a post nasal drip in the back of your throat that clears up after a few hours, or feel as if you have something stuck in your windpipe, this is usually due to acid reflux.
Taking an antacid or acid reducer might help to prevent this acid backup and therefore stop laryngitis before it even occurs.
* Stay Away From Smoke
Smoke can be a real irritant on the throat, even second hand smoke. If you are a smoker or happen to live with someone who is, do your best to stay away from it, especially while trying to heal laryngitis.
* Keep Throat Hydrated
Laryngitis is quite often accompanied by a dry and scratchy throat which can be uncomfortable. Drinking a lot of water can help keep vocal cords and throat moist.
* Drink Tea
Drinking a cup of hot tea can also help to sooth an irritated throat. Make sure that it is decaffeinated however because caffeine can actually dehydrate your throat even further.
* Avoid Other Dehydrating Fluids
Do your best to avoid alcoholic beverages or caffeinated coffee while treating laryngitis. Like the caffeinated tea mentioned above, these beverages can cause further drying and dehydration of the throat.
* Consider Gargling
There seems to be a small debate between professionals on whether gargling will help laryngitis. Some doctors say that the larynx is too far down to really be effected by gargling and that gargling my actually put more of a strain on vocal cords or throat.
Others however suggest that gargling with a salt water solution, lemon juice mixture or apple cider vinegar can actually help. A quick call to a doctor that you trust can probably help you make the best decision in this case.