When you have inflammation of your vocal cords it is called laryngitis. This usually causes your voice to sound hoarse or can make you lose your voice completely.
Causes of laryngitis include:
- The common cold and other infections of the throat
- Post nasal drip
- Chronic cough
- Acid reflux
- Shouting or straining your voice too much
- Breathing in harsh chemicals such as cleaners or gasoline
- Drinking too much alcohol or smoking a lot
Sometimes hoarseness may be due to other medical problems like abnormal growths on the vocal cords, muscle disorders affecting the voice box or cancer of the throat.
How can you resolve your laryngitis?
- Give your voice a rest if your laryngitis may be from straining your voice too much
- Limit how much you smoke or drink. Better yet, quit smoking completely
- Avoid harsh chemicals, at least make sure there is a lot of fresh air coming in when you work around fumes
- If it is due to acid reflux, control this by
- Taking medicines for reflux if your doctor recommends
- Avoid foods that make your symptoms worse (including alcohol, coffee, and chocolate.)
- Stop smoking
- Eat many small meals each day, rather than 2 or 3 big meals
- Do not lie down for a least 3 hours after finishing a meal
- If you suffer from post nasal drip or chronic cough, see your board-certified allergist to help resolve these conditions.
If you have asthma and use a daily maintenance inhaler, sometimes this may cause hoarseness or a change of voice. It is important to rinse your mouth out after using your inhalers by gargling with water. This will also protect you from getting a yeast infection in the throat that may occur due to these inhalers if not used properly.
Make sure to see your doctor if you laryngitis does not get better on its own within 2 to 3 weeks, or if you have a fever or pain that is severe lasting more than 5-7 days. Call 911 if you are having trouble breathing, are drooling (unable to swallow your saliva) have swelling of the neck or tongue or cannot move your neck of have trouble opening your mouth.
Causes of laryngitis are treated on a case-by-case basis. Here at The Allergy Group we can help you determine where your hoarseness and/or laryngitis may be originating from and find the best treatment for you. Call 208-377-4000 to schedule an appointment today.