Thursday, October 5, 2017

How to Prevent Laryngitis

Laryngitis is a condition that occurs when the voice box, which is also known as the larynx, becomes swollen, resulting in temporary loss of voice. Typically, laryngitis is virus-related – usually the result of the common cold or flu. However, it can also be caused by overuse of your voice – particularly if you are a public speaker or singer. You may also be at a greater risk of developing laryngitis if you have acid reflux – this is due to acid traveling from the stomach all the way up to the throat and causing the larynx to become irritated, as well as if you are a smoker.

Along with voice loss, other common symptoms of laryngitis include sore throat, coughing, swollen glands and a low-grade fever.

In order to overcome laryngitis as fast as possible, Dr. Ali Ghahary, a family physician currently practicing in the Greater Vancouver area, recommends resting your voice as much as possible – including whispering, as this can also put more strain on your voice.

You should also make sure that you are drinking plenty of water to help prevent dehydration, while avoiding things like alcohol and caffeine, which can actually decrease fluids from your body. Using a humidifier or inhaling stream from a bowl of hot water or a shower can also help alleviate laryngitis, as can making certain lifesttle changes, such as quitting smoking and making healthy changes to your diet (i.e. avoiding spicy foods and eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.)

While laryngitis will typically get better on its own after ten to fourteen days, you may require treatment should it persist or worsen. In some cases, your physician may prescribe corticosteroids. Corticosteroids can help to reduce inflammation caused by laryngitis, though they are not meant to be taken on a long-term basis.

As always, any concerns you have with your health should be reported to your family physician.

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