Getting Your Voice Back – How to Treat Laryngitis
Nothing is more frustrating than waking up in the morning, trying to talk, and having a weak or hoarse voice – or no voice at all. This condition, which is formally known as laryngitis, occurs when the vocal cords become inflamed due to strain or irritation. The good news is that laryngitis usually heals on its own with time and has no serious consequences. This may be less than comforting, though, if you’re scheduled to give a speech or sing in the near future.
Instead of cancelling or trying to croak your way through, you might try these effective home remedies to hasten the return of your voice:
- Rest – Place yourself on immediate vocal rest (it’s best to do so as soon as you sense a bout of laryngitis coming on – its hallmark is a dry, itchy throat that is aggravated by speaking). Use email, text, carry a notebook, or isolate yourself – do whatever it takes to stop speaking and allow your vocal cords time to heal.
- Humidify your environment – Breathing warm, moist air can have a soothing effect on your vocal cords. Use a humidifier, or go into a bathroom, close the door, and run the hot water in the shower to create a steam room. Breathe the steam for 15 minutes.
- Clear your nasal passages and throat – Laryngitis is often accompanied by a cold. To keep irritating mucus out of your throat, don’t sniffle. Instead, blow your nose as often as you need to. Also, to prevent mucus from draining from your nose to your throat, keep your upper body as upright as possible, and prop yourself up with pillows before you go to sleep.
- Soothe your throat – Coughing can cause further irritation, so it’s important to relax your throat. At all times (except while you are lying down), keep a menthol cough drop in your mouth and allow it to release its vapors into the back of your throat.
- Drink plenty of fluids – While proper hydration is always important, it is especially so when you have laryngitis. To keep your throat wet and minimize coughing, take a sip of water with a dash of cranberry juice every few minutes.
If your laryngitis is accompanied by a fever, breathing difficulties, or swallowing problems, or if it persists for more than two weeks, you should see a doctor right away. If you experience frequent bouts of laryngitis, it may be a sign that there is a problem with the way you speak or sing. In this case, a doctor may prescribe speech training to change your habits and allow your vocal cords to heal.
If you have questions about laryngitis or other health-related topics, please feel free to contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care. No appointments are ever necessary to see a doctor at our walk-in clinic.