Laryngitis

Information on Laryngitis, an Inflammation of the Larynx. Natural Remedies for Laryngitis and Hoarseness.

    natural remedies for laryngitis

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    1. What is Laryngitis?
    2. Diagnosing Laryngitis
    3. What Causes Laryngitis?
    4. Help for Laryngitis

    What is Laryngitis?

    When we speak, we use two membranes (vocal cords) in the larynx (voice box). These chords vibrate to make sound and therefore allow us to speak, shout, and sing.

    Laryngitis refers to inflammation or irritation of the tissues of the larynx. Laryngitis causes a hoarse voice or the complete loss of the voice because of this irritation to the vocal folds or cords.

    Diagnosing Laryngitis

    Mild cases of laryngitis are usually self-diagnosed, but an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) can visualize the larynx and conclusively diagnose laryngitis. Commonly the first signs are slight redness and dryness of the larynx lining, with stringy mucus between the vocal cords.

    The most common symptoms of laryngitis are a weak, hoarse, gravely voice; sore throat, fever, dry cough, a tickling in the back of the throat, and difficulty swallowing. There are two classifications of laryngitis:

    • Acute laryngitis-- categorized as acute if it lasts less than a few days
    • Chronic laryngitis-- categorized as chronic if it lasts over 3 weeks

    What are the Causes of Laryngitis?

    Almost everyone has experienced a sudden onset of laryngitis, usually associated with a viral infection of the upper airways. The most common cause of laryngitis is a viral infection. Laryngitis does not always end when the viral infection is over. The hoarseness may continue for several days to a week or longer after the infection has been treated.

    Laryngitis can also be caused by a bacterial infection, but the inflammation of the larynx and laryngitis can also be caused by any kind of stress (not only infective) on the vocal chords.

    Various Causes of Laryngitis
    • Vocal overuse
    • Smoking and other inhaled irritants
    • Drinking of spirits
    • Contact with caustic or acidic substances (including acid reflux from the stomach)
    • Allergic reaction
    • Direct physical trauma
    • Cheering at a sporting event
    • Singing
    • Talking very loudly for excessive periods of time
    • Viral infection
    • Bacterial or fungal infection
    • Inflammation due to overuse of the vocal cords
    • Excessive coughing

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    Help for Laryngitis

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    Correct treatment depends on the underlying cause of laryngitis. Some of the most common remedies for laryngitis are as simple as sucking on lozenges and sweets and avoiding places where there are irritants like smoke.

    Aspirin may help to alleviate pain temporarily and antibiotics are rarely necessary. If laryngitis is due to a virus, some prescribed medications may help alleviate fever and some of the discomfort associated with laryngitis. Sometimes laryngitis is a symptom of tonsillitis or bronchitis. In acute laryngitis due to a cold, the viral infection is almost always quickly conquered by the body’s immune system and lasts at most a few days.

    Should hoarseness last for more than 3 weeks, one should consult an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat physician) for an examination including direct visualization of the vocal cords. This examination may also detect the presence of vocal cord nodules, a structural change resulting in persistent hoarseness, or loss of voice.

    Other Treatment for Laryngitis

    Self-Care Treatment
    It is best to rest the voice while the larynx is inflamed. A person with laryngitis should avoid talking loudly to rest the vocal cords. They should rather speak softly, but never whisper, as this will further strain the voice. Resting along with steam inhalations and avoidance of smoke or other irritants will allow the larynx to recover and heal.

    Lifestyle changes are often the most important factor in the prevention of recurrent laryngitis. It is also imperative that you stop smoking naturally to avoid damaging your throat and larynx. One should also avoid food and liquids for two to three hours before retiring to bed in order to prevent active acid secretion by the stomach during sleep. Raising the head of the bed will protect the larynx from acid reflux from the stomach during sleep. Clearing the throat should be avoided as well, as this can worsen symptoms, and it should rather be substituted for swallowing to clear bothersome throat secretions.

    Natural Herbal and Homeopathic Remedies for Laryngitis

    Herbal and homeopathic remedies have been used for centuries to treat a number of conditions. The larynx is another bodily organ that can be soothed by a number of proven herbal and homeopathic ingredients. Such ingredients include Gelsemium, a homeopathic remedy well-known for its ability to reduce the symptoms of sore throat and influenza.

    Mercurius solubilis has been used medicinally in its raw form since the times of ancient Egypt to treat a range of infections. Manufactured in safe homeopathic potency, this homeopathic ingredient is particularly effective in the treatment of all mouth and throat infections, including infected throats, tonsils, tooth abscesses, and oral thrush. It is also recommended for fever, sinusitis, and ear infections.

    While these ingredients help relieve troubling laryngitis symptoms, other herbal ingredients are especially helpful in assisting the body’s ability to fight off infection. Olea europea (extract of Olive leaf) is used to fight a variety of illnesses and to protect the body against disease, ailments, and infection of all types. Olea europea destroys viruses by stimulating the immune system to produce white blood cells and by preventing the replication of viruses – as nature intended. Another well-known herb, Echinacea purpurea, is often used for its immune-strengthening properties, helping to resolve the underlying infection without the adverse effects associated with antibiotic use.

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    Natural Herbal and Homeopathic Remedies for Laryngitis

    There are a number of herbal and homeopathic remedies that can be of great benefit for someone suffering with laryngitis. Since immune deficiency is one of the highlighted causes of this infection, naturally boosting the immune system is the first course of action for many people.

    Herbs such as Echinacea purpurea, Astragalus membranaceous, Inula helenium and Withania somnifera are well-documented for their antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties, as well as their ability to strengthen and assist the immune system. These herbs not only help to treat current infections, but work well as a preventative measure so that the laryngitis does not reoccur.

    In addition, there are also homeopathic and herbal ingredients specific to skin ailments that can help speed recovery and keep the affected area clean and clear from harmful bacteria. Silicea, a homeopathic tissue salt, is very effective in helping the body to expel all foreign or toxic matter, including pus, and is frequently recommended in homeopathic dosage to quickly alleviate laryngitis. In addition, naturopaths often recommend liver and systemic cleansing herbs such as Silybum marianus and Gallium aperine for the treatment of recurring Laryngitis.

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