Affordable laryngitis treatment
Your larynx contains two folds known as your “vocal cords”. These flaps of mucous membrane form sound as we speak by opening and closing. Laryngitis occurs when the vocal cords become inflamed and irritated.
- Hoarseness or raspiness
- Voice loss
- Irritation or “tickling” in the throat
- Dryness in the throat
Laryngitis is usually diagnosed as acute (meaning that symptoms are temporary) or chronic (meaning that symptoms have been present for several weeks).
- Vocal strain, brought on by overuse of the voice or yelling
- Viral infections (like the common cold or acute bronchitis)
- Bacterial/ fungal infections (these are less common)
- Prolonged exposure to irritants (e.g., smoke, chemical fumes, or allergens)
- Chronic acid reflux (also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD)
- Persistent overuse of the voice
- Tobacco and alcohol use
- Vocal cord paralysis
Respiratory infections such as a cold, bronchitis, or sinusitis regularly cause symptoms of laryngitis.
In most cases, laryngitis will last a few weeks and then go away with mild self-care strategies. If your symptoms do not go away within 2 weeks, talk to a health care provider to discuss your condition.
Most cases of laryngitis will go away with simple self-care strategies. These include:
- Hydrate. Dehydration can worsen the symptoms of laryngitis, so be sure to drink plenty of water to keep your vocal cords moist. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as these substances can cause dehydration. Sucking on lozenges and gargling salt water can also help soothe the vocal cords and moisten your throat.
- Use a humidifier. Breathing moist air can help soothe irritated vocal cords and reduce the symptoms of laryngitis. Be sure to clean your humidifier regularly, as warm moisture can lead to fungal growth in the machine.
- Rest your voice. As your vocal cords are recovering, avoid speaking too much or too loudly. Use a microphone if you are required to speak or sing in front of large groups. Additionally, avoid whispering. Whispering puts added stress on your vocal cords, which can worsen your symptoms.
Medication is rarely used as a treatment for laryngitis, as most instances are caused by overuse or a viral infection. However, if self-care methods haven’t effectively treated your condition, or if your doctor suspects your laryngitis is being caused by a bacterial infection, they may prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat the underlying illness. Similarly, antifungal medication may be prescribed if a fungal infection is causing your symptoms.