Sore throats and hoarse voices are common ailments that come with the changing of the seasons, exposure to cold air, long nights partying, and a history of smoking. However, repeated periods of hoarseness, loss of voice, and inflammation of the vocal cords can be a symptom of chronic laryngitis.
Laryngitis is caused by inflammation and swelling of the vocal cords, and it’s marked by a hoarse or loss of voice, irritated or raw-feeling throat, and difficulty swallowing. Prevention of this condition is much easier than laryngitis treatment Los Angeles, but if you are currently suffering from a chronic sore throat or loss of voice, you still have hope for relief. Meeting with a skilled head and neck doctor can give you recommendations on how to avoid further irritation of your vocal cords.
This condition may be acute or chronic. If your symptoms appear suddenly and clear up in less than two weeks, then you have acute laryngitis, and you probably don’t need to worry. Chronic laryngitis can develop over long periods of time and last for weeks or months.
Anatomy of the Larynx
The larynx, commonly known as the voice box, is composed of a number of muscular structures that regulate breathing, eating, drinking, and talking. It’s located in the throat and helps pass air to the lungs, as well as carry food to the stomach and generate language.
The vocal cords located inside the larynx open and vibrate with the air that passes through your throat. This is how you talk. This movement should be seamless, but hoarseness or loss of voice can occur when the vocal cords become irritated or swollen, restricting their function.
These actions are more or less automatic and thoughtless, that is, until you start experiencing breathing, swallowing, or speaking problems.
Symptoms of Chronic Laryngitis
The most common symptom of chronic laryngitis is a hoarse, raspy voice. Other symptoms of chronic laryngitis include:
- Loss of Voice – This can mean a complete inability to enunciate or a voice marked by frequent cracking and breaking. It’s also possible that you can talk in the morning but lose your voice by the end of the day.
- Raw or Irritated Throat – This can be marked by a sensation of a lump in your throat. This raw, aching feeling will persist all day.
- Dry Cough – A dry cough occurs when you are coughing, but nothing is coming up. This comes from irritation of the throat.
- Swelling of the Lymph Nodes in Your Neck – It may feel as if you have strep throat, and the pain can get worse when you talk.
- Difficulty Swallowing – This less common symptom is caused by irritation of the throat and larynx.
- Fever – It’s possible that you may experience a low-grade fever while suffering from laryngitis.
If you are seeking chronic hoarseness treatment Los Angeles, then you may need to consult a doctor, especially if the issue causes you great discomfort.
Causes of Chronic Laryngitis
An ENT doctor Los Angeles can tell you that chronic laryngitis is most commonly the result of lifestyle choices. Chronic laryngitis is very common in singers, actors, lawyers, teachers, referees, heavy smokers, and people who spend long nights partying and drinking alcohol.
Voice abuse or misuse often leads to laryngitis later in life. If you frequently find yourself in situations where you have to shout, whether it’s for your profession or social life, you can wear out your vocal cords. Talking too loudly or too much can lead to irritation of the vocal cords and a raspy voice.
Frequent cigarette smokers often have raspy or gravelly sounding voices, and this is caused by the harsh smoke. Smoking irritates the larynx, causing the vocal cords to become thicker due to inflammation and swelling. Alcohol can also have similar effects, thickening the vocal cords. Thicker vocal cords result in a deeper tone of voice.
If your hoarse voice is worse in the morning, it’s possible that your chronic laryngitis is the result of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Also called acid reflux, GERD causes your stomach acid to flow backward into the throat, thus irritating the larynx. If your sore throat is accompanied by heartburn and indigestion, then you may need to seek treatment for GERD.
Other common causes of chronic laryngitis are:
- Chronic sinusitis
- Exposure to harmful chemicals
- Bacterial or fungal infections
- Vocal cord paralysis due to injury of the head, neck, or chest areas
You are likely seeking reprieve from your chronic laryngitis, especially if it’s painful and gets in the way of everyday life. One of the simplest ways to avoid recurrences of your chronic laryngitis is to follow the standard prevention guidelines, like avoiding screaming, smoking, and drinking alcohol. Giving your voice a bit of rest can do wonders.
Hydration is also important to soothe the throat. Drinking plenty of fluids will keep your throat from getting as dry and irritated. Your ENT doctor in Los Angeles may also recommend that you get a humidifier to keep the air in your bedroom moist. In an area like Los Angeles, your chronic laryngitis may be worsened by the naturally dry condition of the air.
If these holistic, at-home remedies do not help your chronic laryngitis, then you may need a professional to assist with your impaired voice treatment Los Angeles. Meeting with a Los Angeles ENT doctor can be the easiest solution to solving this common problem.
One of the ENT doctors of Westside Head & Neck can prescribe you medications like antihistamines, pain relievers, and antibiotics to solve this problem. If your condition is relentless, they can even perform chronic laryngitis surgery to help your vocal dysfunction.