Laryngitis (cont.)

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Are there any home remedies for laryngitis?

It is reasonable not to seek medical care for most cases of laryngitis. Home treatment begins with resting the voice and keeping well hydrated. Symptoms may be controlled by exposure to humidified air. Often, the bathroom is the best place to create a highly humidified area.

  • Turn on the hot water in the shower until there is plenty of steam.
  • Make certain that all the hot water is drained from the tub or shower to prevent the risk of scalding burns.
  • Spend 15- 20 minutes breathing the warm moist air to help with symptoms.

A cold water vaporizer may also be used to help with humidity. Avoid hot water vaporizers because of the risk of scalding burns.

Stay well hydrated, especially if the pain makes it difficult to swallow fluid.

Warm water gargles may be soothing. Alternatively, popsicles may offer comfort.

Tylenol and/or ibuprofen may be helpful in decreasing the amount of pain.

What are the complications of laryngitis?

If the cause of laryngitis is vocal cord paralysis, the swallowing mechanism may also be affected, and food particles may enter the larynx and lungs, leading to coughing. This process can also lead to aspiration pneumonia and its accompanying symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) when the food is aspirated deep into the lungs and causes irritation and inflammation of lung tissue.

Repeated episodes of gastroesophageal reflux may cause small amounts of acid to get past the inflamed larynx and enter the lung, causing recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis.

Prior to the advent of Haemophilus influenzae immunization, epiglottitis due to H. flu was always considered as a possible alternative diagnosis for children with croup. This was a life-threatening medical emergency because the epiglottis could massively swell, blocking air from entering the larynx and lungs. X-rays of the neck were taken to visualize the epiglottis and look for swelling. The diagnosis was often confirmed in the operating room where the otolaryngologist and anesthesiologist would use laryngoscopy to look at the epiglottis and vocal cords and decide whether to insert a breathing tube in the child's airway to prevent the airway from swelling shut. Fortunately, because of immunization, this disease is rarely seen.

REFERENCE: Tintinalli JE, etal. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th edition McGraw hill Professional. 2010.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/31/2013

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Laryngitis - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with Laryngitis.
Laryngitis - Causes Question: What was the cause of your laryngitis? Have you ever lost your voice from talking too much or singing?
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