LARYNGITIS by Vickie Kline

Years ago, every time I caught a cold, I would get laryngitis. Eventually I would feel fine, but my voice would be MIA for two to three weeks. It was very frustrating because I was a vocalist at the time. As my voice recovered a bit, I would sing more, and would lose my voice all over again. One of those vicious cycles that is hard to break. Luckily, with changes in diet, medication, and a more healthful lifestyle, I no longer experience these long periods of being voiceless. (I’m sure my husband wishes we could go back in time…)

Laryngitis occurs when you have an infection or stressed vocal chords. The vocal chords swell, causing them to not vibrate properly to create sound. There are numerous causes for laryngitis:

1. Overuse of the voice may cause irritation resulting in laryngitis, such as yelling at a sporting event.

2. Prolonged use of alcohol or tobacco may cause laryngitis.

3. Acid reflux disease. If you suspect this, consult your physician.

If you find you often lose your voice, there are some natural ways to help relieve symptoms and bring your voice back more quickly:

1. Rest your voice. Try not to talk much. This will speed up the healing process.

2. Drink plenty of fluids. The more hydrated you are, the better your chance of healing your vocal chords.

3. Use steam. The bathroom is the best place to do this. Close the door, turn the hot water on in the shower and …. breathe … for about 20 minutes. This will help to moisturize the vocal chords.

4. Discontinue all alcohol and tobacco if necessary. Alcohol and tobacco will dehydrate you and dry out the vocal chords.

5. If you feel physical irritation in your vocal chords, use a gargle of warm water. Again, this will help to hydrate them.

6. A cold water vaporizer may also be helpful. This will increase the humidity.

7. Ibuprofen will also help decrease the inflammation and speed up the healing process.

Once you begin to experience symptoms or feel like you may be losing your voice, start the healing process right away. If you catch laryngitis early (possibly when you first become hoarse), you can keep it from getting much worse. If you try these home remedies and are not getting better, always consult your physician.

Strive to be healthy!

Information courtesy of Medicine Net

No Voice image courtesy of Miss Thrifty SLP

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