Coping with Chronic Laryngitis | Treatments & Diagnosis
Hey there! It’s been a while since my last post about my 21st birthday. I’ve been very unwell recently, so blogging took a bit of a back seat this month. At first, it started with a cold then developed into sinusitis and laryngitis, thankfully the sinusitis cleared up with antibiotics. My laryngitis, however, is getting progressively worse. I have very little voice and some days no voice at all. It’s been five weeks since the initial diagnosis with my doctor meaning what they thought was acute laryngitis is in fact, chronic laryngitis.
What is chronic laryngitis?
Laryngitis is when your voice box or vocal cords in the throat become irritated or swollen. The symptoms I’ve had are a hoarse (croaky) voice, a cough that I can’t get rid of, a sore throat and gradually losing my voice. I’ve also found that I’m out of breath easily and wheezing and it has become increasingly difficult to swallow.
My doctor informed me that acute laryngitis usually goes away in 1 – 2 weeks but mine hasn’t. And anything longer than 2 weeks is referred to as chronic laryngitis which can be a sign of cancer or of vocal nodules or polyps. I’ve been given a referral to an ear, nose and throat specialist at the hospital in a few weeks where they’ll check for anything abnormal on my vocal cords and in my throat.
Home Treatments for Acute or Chronic Laryngitis
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and if you think you have laryngitis or are having any other issues with your voice, please contact your doctor. The following treatments are what my own doctor advised I try.
Plenty of rest
My doctor signed me off work at the beginning of the month and yesterday, my doctor signed me off again. She felt I went back to work too early and that I need to rest both myself and my voice. So for now, I’m getting plenty of rest at home where my days are spent with day-time TV or a good book to read.
Try to speak as little as possible and write things down instead.
To ease the strain on my vocal cords my doctor advised speaking as little as possible or to write things down. When speaking this should be done in a normal voice at a normal volume, as whispering or shouting can strain your vocal cords.
Drink plenty of fluids
This is important for keeping your vocal cords well lubricated but also to keep yourself hydrated as well. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as much as possible as these can both dehydrate you.
Keep the air moist by putting out bowls of water or using a humidifier
Central heating or air conditioning can dry out your throat and worsen the hoarseness. Instead use a humidifier to add moisture to the air or use bowls of water, which can help soothe a dry or inflamed throat.
Gargle with warm salty water (children shouldn’t try this).
Saltwater can help kill harmful bacteria and may reduce pain. Try adding half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and stir to let the salt dissolve. Gargle the salty water in the back of the throat, then spit it out.
Don’t whisper or try to talk loudly
As mentioned above doing either of these can strain your vocal cords.
Limit the use of aerosols
Aerosols, such as deodorant, such be used sparingly as they can irritate your throat and make you cough more often. Instead, try roll-on deodorant or liquid cleaning products.
Steam Inhalations for chronic laryngitis
You can do this either by inhaling the steam from a cup of tea or hot water or by putting a towel over your head and inhale steam from a bowl of boiling water. Another option would be to purchase a steam inhaler.
Use painkillers and throat sweets
Both of these will help soothe your throat and any associated pain.
Final thoughts on my chronic laryngitis diagnosis
I’ll try to update on my progress when I can – I have a lot of time on my hands being signed off work – but at the moment, I feel very run down and just want to sleep. 😴 Being sick takes a lot out of you! And I’m feeling anxious about my referral with the consultant coming up soon. I don’t know what to expect. But I’m trying to stay positive and hopefully, my voice will come back very soon.
But enough about me, how are you doing? Keeping well, I hope. 🙂