Larynx is the name of the organ lying between the mouth and trachea. It is the organ that is responsible for talking, shouting or singing. It has a soft muscular covering called epiglottis and when there is inflammation in this lining it is called laryngitis. This organ controls the voice box managing the pitch of the voice and its tone etc. It also determines the nature of voice to be hoarse, sweet and husky. When the larynx develops inflammation it affects the voice box and subsequently the voice becomes hoarse or gravel like.
Excess of talking and respiratory tract infection can cause swelling on the muscles of larynx and this disease is contagious when it is of infectious nature. In severe cases, laryngitis may cause polyps or cyst like growth on the vocal cord and on further complication it may lead to chronic bronchitis and pneumonia.
Laryngitis Causes :
Laryngitis can be caused by excess of talking or shouting when you are emotionally high. Any infection can also affect the inner lining of larynx affecting the voice cord. Chronic form of laryngitis can develop due to excess of coughing and smoking.
GERD (Gastro-Esophageal-Reflux-Disease) is one of the common causes for laryngitis in which acidity from the stomach is sent to the larynx due to reflux reaction causing inflammation of the lining of muscles. It would cause irritation which in turn may cause swelling of vocal cord affecting the nature of sound. Stroke or nervous disorder can affect the larynx causing paralysis of the nerves making it difficult to talk and eat.
Any accidental injury or trauma is also another reason for laryngitis in which the muscles or nerves gets affected. People who have undergone surgery in larynx can have such problem. Sometimes, development of tumor like growth in the neck can compress the underlying nerves affecting vocal cord muscles.
Repeated dry cough, fever, sore throat, respiratory tract infection and change in voice are some of the common symptoms of laryngitis. In case of severe infection, there may be pain and difficulty in swallowing and talking. For some people there may be constant irritation and stone like feeling in the throat. The voice may become hoarse or the intensity of volume may reduce due to this problem. In severe cases the voice may be lost temporarily.
In young children the symptoms can be fever, hoarse voice and barky cough. For some children, there may be shortness of breath and breathing difficulty.
It can be easily identified by the change in voice and irritant cough. Your doctor will collect more information from you regarding the background of the disease and your habits. If necessary, he may ask you to do laryngoscopy for checking the functions of vocal cord.
The ideal therapy is to give complete rest to the vocal cord by not talking. By taking rest, the inflammation will be reduced considerably. You should avoid whispering when you have laryngitis; instead you can talk slowly. Drink plenty of fluids and if there is pain, you can take Ibuprofen or acetaminophen for relief.
Doctors would prescribe corticosteroid pills like prednisone for treating moderate type of laryngitis infection. This would directly act on the inflammation and improve the symptoms shortly. If needed, he would give you a shot of Adrenocot or oral medicine in the form of dexaethasone for treating this disease. Your doctor will first identify the causative factor before starting his treatment and plan the method of treatment accordingly.
Pictures of Laryngitis :
Images, Pics, Pictures and Photos of Laryngitis
For mild to moderate type of laryngitis you can inhale hot vapor which would provide great relief for reducing the swelling of vocal cord. Drink plenty of water and keep well hydrated. Take enough rest by not talking and switch off your mobile for a day or two.
You can also try gargling warm water with salt, several times a day which would control the inflammation.