Laryngitis Treatment in Annapolis, MD
The larynx, which is colloquially known as the voice box, is the organ of the neck that facilitates breathing, sound production and protection of the trachea against food aspiration. The larynx also houses the vocal folds (cords) which vibrate, helping modulate the flow of air that is expelled from the lungs. Comprised of mucous membrane material which covers muscle and cartilage, the vocal folds normally open and close smoothly to form sounds through their vibration. However, should the larynx become inflamed, a condition known as laryngitis can occur from overuse, irritation or infection. When laryngitis occurs, the sounds created through the air passing over the vocal folds becomes distorted, and your voice typically will become hoarse and possibly even undetectable. While most cases of laryngitis are acute (mild, short-lived), some suffer with chronic laryngitis that may require more prolonged treatment.
In cases of laryngitis, contagious viral or bacterial infections can spread and put anyone at risk. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare professional in Annapolis that can administer proper laryngitis treatment, call (410) 567-0667 or contact Dr. Alan Stuart Weiss online.
Laryngitis is most frequently triggered by a viral infection or vocal strain. In instances of acute laryngitis, viral infections similar to those that could normally cause a cold may cause your contraction of the condition, while vocal strain (caused by overuse of your voice or yelling) or bacterial infections may also be to blame. Cases of acute laryngitis will typically improve after the underlying cause gets better or is targeted by treatment.
Chronic laryngitis, by contrast, generally refers to cases of laryngitis that last longer than three weeks, which is caused by exposure to irritants over time. Chronic laryngitis may cause vocal strain and injuries or growths on the vocal cords (polyps or nodules) and may require prolonged treatment.
Common laryngitis symptoms include:
- Weakened voice, hoarse voice or voice loss
- Tickling sensation or feeling of rawness of your throat
- Sore or dry throat, or dry cough
Hoarseness in your voice may suggest laryngitis; however, it is not definitive. Prolonged hoarseness should be grounds for visiting your healthcare provider, who will listen to your voice as well as examine your vocal cords for signs of the underlying cause. You may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist (otorhinolaryngologist) who is better equipped to handle this kind of issue.
If laryngitis is suspected, your specialist may use one of the following diagnostic tests to confirm you are suffering laryngitis:
- Laryngoscopy: An examination of your vocal cords using a light and a tiny mirror which visualizes your throat. Your healthcare provider might alternatively elect a fiber-optic laryngoscopy which involves inserting an endoscope--a thin, flexible tube attached to a tiny camera--through your nose or mouth and into the back of your throat, after which your healthcare provider will inspect the motion of your vocal cords as you speak.
- Biopsy: An examination of a sample of tissue under a microscope.
Acute laryngitis may be improved at home by resting your voice and drinking plenty of water. Symptoms of acute laryngitis will typically subside approximately within a week. Chronic laryngitis treatment will focus on resolving the underlying causes. Medications could include:
- Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation of your vocal cords. Corticosteroids are especially useful in urgent cases, such as when you need to prepare for an oral presentation or speech.
- Antibiotics to resolve laryngitis that is caused by bacterial infection.
It is important to rest your voice in cases of laryngitis in general as continued, strenuous use of your voice during episodes of laryngitis could lead to damaged vocal cords. If you suspect you suffer laryngitis, it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional who can advise and administer proper treatment. To schedule a consultation with a qualified healthcare provider in Annapolis that specializes in treating laryngitis, call (410) 567-0667 or contact Dr. Alan Stuart Weiss online.
Annapolis Integrative Medicine Clinic
Address1819 Bay Ridge Avenue
Annapolis, MD 21403
9:30 am - 6:30 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm