The larynx, also known as the voice box, is the structure in your throat that contains your vocal chords. It's situated just behind the Adam's apple, and if it becomes inflamed or swollen, you've got laryngitis. Many believe that the primary symptom of laryngitis is pain, but in reality it's hoarseness or having trouble speaking. A sore throat and laryngitis go hand-in-hand, any pain you experience when you swallow or cough is, technically, not laryngitis.
Laryngitis can be broken down into acute or chronic. Acute forms last from a few days to a week, and are often caused by upper respiratory infections. Allergies, bacterial or fungal infection, inhaling irritants, or acid reflux are all common causes of acute laryngitis.
Laryngitis can also come about if someone has a job that requires a lot of speaking and projection. These type of jobs can lead to chronic or recurring laryngitis. Throat nodules, cancer, and tumors can also cause long-term hoarseness or speaking issues. If you have a long-term sore throat and have difficulty breathing or swallowing that has been going on for a couple of weeks, it's best to get it checked out by a doctor. This is especially so for smokers and heavy drinkers who are at more of a risk from throat cancers.
Anyway, here are 7 solutions for if you have short-term laryngitis.
Along with singers and those who speak loudly for their jobs, some people may experience laryngitis due to the shape or anatomy of their throat and skull. Depending on the way you're built, it may take more of an effort for you to project and make yourself heard. Whatever the cause of your worn out vocal chords, giving your voice a rest is one of the best ways to relieve laryngitis. Just don't whisper, because when you do, you're using muscles in the voice box that aren't meant to be overused. Therefore, whispering a lot can make things worse.
2. Drink Lots of Fluids
Drinking fluids and keeping your throat hydrated and moist helps aid recovery. However, avoid anything with caffeine in it, as this will dehydrate you further. Furthermore, don't drink soda as this can worsen any acid reflux issues that might have caused the laryngitis in the first place.
3. Keep Your Allergies in Check
Allergies, whether to pets, peanuts, or pollen, can lead to increased throat irritation and inflammation. Therefore, make sure that you're taking your allergy meds and try to avoid anything that might trigger your allergies.
Eating foods that can prevent or calm down acid reflux - such as ginger tea, bananas, and leafy greens - can help you avoid larynx inflammation/irritation that might occur as a result of out-of-control stomach acids. Reflux medication and skipping snacks or meals before lying down can also keep acid reflux in check.
5. Avoid Irritants
If your job or hobby exposes you to wood dust, paint fumes, or other irritants, wearing a mask and making sure there is plenty of ventilation where you're working can drastically cut down your risk of developing laryngitis.
6. Gargle with Salt Water
Salt water soothes and possesses antimicrobial properties. Therefore, if you have laryngitis which is accompanied by a sore throat, or you think it might be down to a bacterial infection like strep throat, gargling with salt water should help.
7. Buy a Humidifier
Our vocal chords are made up of three layers, and it's the middle gel-like layer that becomes swollen or inflamed during a bout of laryngitis. Keeping a humidifier running when the weather turns dry will help keep that middle layer hydrated and healthy. Just make sure to clean your humidifier as instructed. Otherwise, you risk inhaling irritants or bacteria that can build up in the dirty water.