Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Laryngitis facts
- What is laryngitis?
- What causes laryngitis?
- What are the symptoms of laryngitis?
- Symptoms of laryngitis in adults
- Symptoms of laryngitis in infants and children
- Is laryngitis contagious?
- How is laryngitis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for laryngitis?
- Are there any home remedies for laryngitis?
- What are the complications of laryngitis?
- Find a local Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor in your town
Are there any home remedies for laryngitis?
It is reasonable not to seek medical care for most cases of laryngitis. Home treatment begins with resting the voice and keeping well hydrated. Symptoms may be controlled by exposure to humidified air. Often, the bathroom is the best place to create a highly humidified area.
- Turn on the hot water in the shower until there is plenty of steam.
- Make certain that all the hot water is drained from the tub or shower to
prevent the risk of burns.
- Spend 15- 20 minutes breathing the warm moist air to help with symptoms.
A cold water vaporizer may also be used to help with humidity. Avoid hot water vaporizers because of the risk of burns.
Stay well hydrated, especially if the pain makes it difficult to swallow fluid.
Warm water gargles may be soothing. Alternatively, popsicles may offer comfort.
Tylenol and/or ibuprofen may be helpful in decreasing the amount of pain.
Learn more about: Tylenol
What are the complications of laryngitis?
If the cause of laryngitis is vocal cord paralysis, the swallowing mechanism may also be affected, and food particles may enter the larynx and lungs, leading to coughing. This process can also lead to pneumonia and its accompanying symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) when the food is aspirated deep into the lungs and causes irritation and inflammation of lung tissue.
Prior to the advent of Haemophilus influenzae immunization, epiglottitis due to this infection was always considered as a possible alternative diagnosis for children with croup. This was a life-threatening medical emergency because the epiglottis could massively swell, blocking air from entering the larynx and lungs. X-rays of the neck may be taken to visualize the epiglottis and look for swelling. The diagnosis was often confirmed in the operating room where the otolaryngologist and anesthesiologist would use laryngoscopy to look at the epiglottis and vocal cords and decide whether to insert a breathing tube in the child's airway to prevent the airway from swelling shut. Fortunately, because of immunization, this disease is rarely seen.
REFERENCE: Rakel R. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th edition. Saunders Elsevier. 2007
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