Alternative Names: Acute laryngitis
Laryngitis is the inflammation of the larynx (voice box), which results in irritation and swelling of the larynx and the surrounding area. It can cause the voice to become hoarse or to disappear altogether.
Acute laryngitis is most common in late fall, winter, and early spring.
The chronic form is often associated with such irritants as cigarette smoke and industrial fumes. Other allergens may play a part too.
Unnatural change in the voice; Hoarseness or loss of voice; Tickling, scratchiness, and rawness in the throat; A constant urge to clear the throat; Fever in some more severe cases; Difficulty breathing if the larynx is swollen.
Depending on the cause of the laryngitis, treatment can vary from resting the voice to treatments of a bacterial infection. Antibiotics are used to treat laryngitis cases caused by bacterial infections. Viral infections are not curable and have to run their course. Irritants cause some cases of laryngitis. These can include – talking or shouting excessively, cigarette smoking, chemical fumes. The best treatment in these cases is to rest the voice and avoid all irritants.
The following gargles may be beneficial:
In general, laryngitis resolves within one or two weeks, with or without treatment.
Breathing the vapors or swallowing small amounts of frankincense may help restore your voice when it has been lost due to overuse.
Garlic is antibacterial and supports the immune system.
Grapefruit-seed extract can be taken internally or used as a gargle.
Elderberry extract works well against viruses.
Drink an herbal sore-throat tea containing slippery elm bark, hyssop, licorice root and sage.
Echinacea and golden seal stimulate the immune system and are important for helping to clear any kind of infection. Take one dose of an echinacea and goldenseal combination formula supplying 250-500mg of echinacea and 250-500mg of goldenseal every two hours during the acute phase. Then cut back to one dose three times a day for up to one week.
Sugar-free herbal-based lozenges fortified with vitamin C or zinc, a mineral that speeds healing, are very helpful. Lozenges increase saliva production and help soothe a dry, irritated throat. Take one lozenge every hour, as needed, for up to one week.
A B-complex can enhance immune function, especially during times of stress.
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