Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx (voice box) characterized by hoarseness, loss of voice and sore throat. It is commonly caused by a viral or bacteria infection, overuse or misuse of the vocal cords, and allergies.
Allergens can enter the airways and cause irritation and swelling. In addition to changes in the voice, symptoms might include dry cough, pain when swallowing, tickle in the throat, fever and swollen lymph nodes. Laryngitis can cause serious problems if left untreated, so it’s advisable to seek medical attention should your symptoms last longer than a few days. Common triggers include pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander, smoke, foods, chemicals and medications.
The most important step to take when treating laryngitis is to rest your voice. Continued use can cause permanent damage to the vocal cords, so refrain from speaking as much as possible during recovery. Home remedies are often very helpful. If you are suffering from laryngitis, gargling with warm salt water several times a day can soothe irritation. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, and use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Avoid cigarettes and secondhand smoke, and any other substance that can trigger your symptoms.