Have you ever experienced having a hoarse voice? You may have the condition called laryngitis. If you want more information about this condition, this is article that you are looking for. The paragraphs below will give all the details regarding laryngitis: definition, symptoms and treatment. We hope that this article can help you find the answers that you seek after reading.
Definition of Terms
The first thing that we need to do is to define the specific condition. Laryngitis refers to the irritation or severe septicity of the voice box or larynx. In addition to this, the swelling also occurs in the vocal cords.
If this happens, it will change the way you sound because the vibrations from the voice box and vocal cords will also change. The voice may become very weak or disappear completely depending on the degree of your swelling.
When does Laryngitis occur?
This would usually happen every time you speak or if there is a severe infection caused by a virus. Here are some examples of viral infections that can lead to laryngitis.
In addition to this, bacterial infections of your breathing apparatus can also lead to having a hoarse voice. This means that if you have infections in the lung or breathing tubes, you will most likely have an affected larynx.
A sore throat can also be accompanied by other symptoms especially if it is caused by a viral infection. These are some of the major symptoms that you should watch out for.
Major Causes of Laryngitis
The most major cause that can lead to having a sore throat or laryngitis aside from related illnesses is straining your voice. You can do this by talking very loudly or singing too much. This is because it will cause the larynx and vocal cords to be inflamed therefore accounting for the hoarseness.
Aside from those mentioned earlier, there are other symptoms that can help you determine if you have laryngitis. These are as follows.
- Vocal dryness
- The need to clear your throat regularly
If you feel any of these symptoms, it is important that you have yourself checked by the doctor right away. He or she will be able to give you the proper treatment which can help your regain your voice as soon as possible.
How do doctors diagnose the condition?
If you go to the doctor, he or she will examine your throat and vocal cords with the use of a light and instruments with a mirror placed behind the throat. This will allow the doctor to see the vocal cords as they are reflected in the mirror.
Sometimes, the doctors also use a fiber optic scope. They will introduce the scope nasally and insert until it reaches the back of the throat. After this, if the doctor detects a possible bacterial infection, the patient may be asked to expectorate to get a sample to be examined in a laboratory.
Fortunately, laryngitis usually clears up after a few days to about a week. If you want to prevent the condition, you have to know what direct cause you are dealing with. For laryngitis caused by viral or bacterial infection, there’s no way to prevent the condition except perhaps by avoiding viruses and bacteria that may cause various diseases which can lead to laryngitis eventually.
However, if it is caused by vocal strain, you just have to refrain from over using your voice through shouting or singing loudly. If you can do this, then you would be able to prevent laryngitis from occurring.
Available Modes of Treatment
Just like most other diseases, there is available treatment for laryngitis. Again, treatment depends on the nature of the disease. For viral laryngitis, it will not require medical treatment. You just have to gargle warm salt water. Lozenges can also help relieve sore throat. Using humidifiers and moisturizers for the air can also help. You can also try locking yourself into the bathroom and inhaling the fumes from a prepared hot shower or steam bath.
In addition to this, you should also let your vocal cords rest as much as possible. You can do this by not speaking too much. Furthermore, you should also avoid whispering if you can. This is because whispering can also strain your voice as much as normal speech can.
If worse comes to worse and a bacterial infection is found the doctors may prescribe antibiotics. Aside from knowing treatment methods, you should also know when you should call the doctor. These are some of the conditions that would warrant calling the physician as soon as possible.
- Persistent fever
- Improper breathing
- If you have a bloody sputum
- If hoarse voice lasts for several weeks or months after contracting a respiratory infection
- If hoarseness develops randomly without infection
If any of these events occur, your doctors will examine to see if there are still other possible causes that can be the reason behind your hoarse voice. Having tumors within the throat can also cause hoarseness.
If the condition is caused by a viral infection and/or vocal strain, chances are it will disappear after a few days or a week at the longest. However, if it is caused by a bacterial infection, treatment of the condition will depend upon the type of bacteria involved in that situation.
It is very important for you to have regular appointments with your physician so that they would be able to detect any kind of anomalies in different parts of your body during the early stages. Because of this, you would be able to get treatment as soon as possible and have greater chances of getting better.
Do not hesitate to ask your doctor about anything else that you would want to learn with regards laryngitis. This will help you prepare yourself effectively for any eventuality that might happen in the near future.
Remember that it does not hurt to prepare yourself for any emergency that might happen with regards your physical as well as emotional health.