Laryngitis is swelling and inflammation of the larynx. It can be acute or chronic, although in most cases the condition is temporary and has no serious consequences.
The larynx is the place where the vocal cords are located. It is vital for the processes of breathing, swallowing and communication. The vocal cords are two small folds of the mucous membrane that cover the cartilage and muscle that vibrate, producing a sound.
What is laryngitis?
Laryngitis is primarily a childhood disease. This is due to dimensional differences in the respiratory tract of children and adults. In children, the lumen of the larynx is much less and even minor inflammation provokes its significant narrowing – the occurrence of stenosing laryngitis, accompanied by a narrowing of the larynx. In adults, inflammation of the laryngeal mucosa leads to a rare narrowing of the laryngeal lumen very rarely and laryngitis proceeds because of this much easier.
Acute laryngitis and tracheitis are diseases in which the mucous membrane of the surface of the larynx and trachea, as well as the vocal cords, is inflamed. This, together with the swelling of the latter, causes hoarseness of the voice or its temporary disappearance.
In chronic laryngitis, inflammation can last for a long time. The vocal cords can be strained, and polyps or nodules can also be formed.
Symptoms of laryngitis
First, there are voice disorders. The vocal cords are inflamed, swollen and the voice becomes hoarse. When you try to say something loudly or shout, the patient has pain.
Secondly, the narrowing of the lumen of the larynx leads to problems with breathing. Therefore, the second main symptom of laryngitis is difficulty breathing, which, especially in children, often develops into false croup – one of the most dangerous, especially visually, complications of laryngitis.
Laryngitis in adults can cause a wide range of symptoms, including:
- Speech difficulties
- Sore throat
- Low temperature
- Persistent cough
These symptoms begin suddenly and often worsen over the next 2–3 days. If the symptoms last more than 3 weeks, it is likely that the disease has become chronic. This implies a more serious cause that requires further investigation.
Laryngitis is often associated with other diseases. Along with laryngitis may occur tonsillitis, throat infection, cold or flu, therefore, the following symptoms may also occur:
- Swelling of the tonsils
- Runny nose
- Pain when swallowing
- Fatigue and malaise
Symptoms are likely to disappear without treatment by the seventh day of illness. See your doctor if symptoms persist longer or appear severe.
Laryngitis in children
Symptoms of laryngitis in children may differ from those in adults. The disease is often characterized by hoarse cough and fever, and may be similar to croup.
The nasopharynx of the child is not yet able to resist the viruses that have got there, so they quickly descend into the larynx, and inflammation of the mucous membrane develops. As a rule, the disease of the respiratory tract develops step by step. It all starts with the usual cold, sore throat, cough. Then the infection, if not stopped, falls below.
Croup is a contagious respiratory disease that is common among children. Although croup is usually amenable to treatment, in severe cases, medical attention is required.
Medical treatment is recommended for children experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Fever of more than 39.4 ° C
- Loud sounds when inhaling
These symptoms may also indicate epiglottitis. This is an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the trachea or the epiglottis. Epiglottitis can develop in both adults and children, and in some cases can be life-threatening.
Laryngitis in infants
Laryngitis in infants is not a commonplace cold, which can be taken lightly. Most often it occurs just in babies, which is associated with the physiological features of their respiratory tract. The following symptoms will help determine that the baby has laryngitis and every minute counts:
- hoarse and / or trembling voice while crying
- shallow or shortness of breath
- barking cough
- the disease is characterized by coughing on expiration, and on inhaling there is a distinct hoarse, which means a problem with the flow of air into the lungs
- wheezing in the chest, which are tapped in the upper respiratory system, and not in the lungs
- blueness around the mouth
- high temperature 38-40 ℃
- nervous overexcitement
Types of laryngitis in children
The following forms of laryngitis are distinguished:
The latter variety occurs in adult patients, and is associated with professional activity (the need to talk a lot). In children, the first two forms of laryngitis are more common.
Catarrhal laryngitis considered the easiest. It is manifested by hoarseness, scratching and sore throat. Periodically, a cough occurs, but even in this form, laryngitis requires qualified treatment, as it can lead to a temporary loss of voice and the development of respiratory failure.
Hypertrophic laryngitis. Manifesting more pronounced symptoms: hoarseness, cough and soreness. In contrast to the catarrhal, with hypertrophied laryngitis, nodules no larger than a pinhead are formed on the vocal cords. Because of this, the voice becomes hoarse. It develops both independently and as a consequence of catarrhal laryngitis. Characterized by a hoarse voice with its probable loss.
Atrophic laryngitis very rare in childhood. It is characterized by thinning of the mucous membrane of the larynx. Accompanied by dry mouth, agonizing cough. The voice is usually hoarse. With a strong cough, blood-streaked crusts can come off. Characteristic in most cases for adults. The main difference is the thinning of the mucous membrane of the larynx.
Allergic laryngitis can provoke various chemicals caught in the laryngeal mucosa, dust, smoke; insect bites, eating a number of foods (chocolate, eggs, milk, citrus, etc.). With the development of inflammation as a result of an allergic reaction, the edema of the entire larynx or of any of its sections, which sometimes threatens the life of the patient, may develop. Allergic laryngitis is more common in young children.
Some of them:
- allergic reactions
- prolonged inhalation of cold or hot air,
- traumatic impact
- inhalation of air saturated with pollutants
- overstrain of the vocal cords.
Any external factor can cause inflammation of the mucous membrane. Therefore, the causes of laryngitis are amazing. Determining the causes of the development of the disease is the most important task of the doctor to build treatment tactics. Because only the removal of the prerequisites will result in the form of complete recovery.
The most common cause of laryngitis is a viral infection, often similar to those that cause a cold or flu. Over-exertion of the vocal cords (loud singing or shouting) can also cause laryngeal inflammation. In very rare cases, acute laryngitis can be caused by diphtheria, a bacterial infection.
Causes of chronic laryngitis are usually:
- Acid reflux, a condition in which stomach acid and its contents return to the throat
- Bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection
- Chronic sinusitis
- Exposure to respirable irritants, such as allergens or toxic fumes
- Frequent alcohol consumption
- Regular retension of the vocal cords
- Smoking, including passive smoking
- Use of inhaled steroid drugs such as asthma inhalers
Laryngitis during pregnancy
Laryngitis can be one of the manifestations of acute respiratory diseases, among which the most common flu, whooping cough, measles or scarlet fever. These infections pose a serious danger to the fetus, especially in early pregnancy.
Therefore, if a woman who is expecting a child notices any symptoms in her, then she should immediately consult a doctor to rule out more serious health problems.
- sore throat
- dry cough
- hoarseness or hoarseness
If the disease is accompanied by such symptoms, you need to take special responsibility for the observance of bed rest and call the doctor at home:
- temperature rise
- severe headache and general weakness
Doctors usually diagnose laryngitis with the help of a medical examination, during which they examine:
In most cases, no additional tests are required.
The most common symptom of this condition is hoarseness, so the doctor will ask you to talk. He may also ask questions about lifestyle, the potential effects of airborne stimuli and other related diseases. If the person has chronic hoarseness, the doctor may recommend additional tests to fully examine the vocal cords. Chronic hoarseness can be caused by other diseases, such as cancer in the throat. This symptom requires additional tests to rule out a more serious illness.
It can also be used to monitor the movement of the vocal cords during speech and to determine the presence of any polyps or nodules on the vocal cords. laryngoscope. In some cases, it may be necessary to examine a suspicious tissue site. biopsy.
Anyone with symptoms that last more than 2 weeks should consult a doctor. In some cases, the doctor may refer a patient with laryngitis to an otolaryngologist, also known as an expert in the field of ear, throat and nose.
Doctors usually advise more rest to quickly deal with the symptoms of laryngitis. With laryngitis, rest means limiting the use of the larynx. Avoid talking, singing or screaming. Although a whisper may seem like a softer alternative to speaking at a normal volume, the vocal cords will still be strained, so it’s best to be completely silent.
To cure laryngitis at home it is also recommended:
- Avoid decongestants as they dry throat
- Breathe moist air
- Take acetaminophenes, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to reduce pain
- Avoid inhalation of irritating substances such as smoking or passive smoking.
- Drink plenty of fluids
The doctor may prescribe antibiotics in cases where laryngitis is caused by a bacterial infection. However, a recent review showed that the risks of prescribing antibiotics for acute laryngitis usually outweigh the benefits.
Corticosteroids can be prescribed to reduce the inflammation of the vocal cords in severe or urgent cases. This may apply to people who use the voice professionally, for example, professional singers or speakers. Heavy croup babies can also receive a course of corticosteroids.
Chronic laryngitis may require more intensive ongoing treatment. Treatment will depend on the cause. If laryngitis is caused by another condition, such as acid reflux or sinusitis, then treating a concomitant condition can also relieve the symptoms of laryngitis.
Treatment of laryngitis may require lifestyle changes. For example, if singing is considered to be the cause of laryngitis, the patient may need to change the method of singing. In such cases, speech or vocal training may be recommended. Avoiding alcohol, tobacco smoke and irritants can also get rid of the disease.
A person may need surgery in cases where the vocal cords have been severely damaged as a result of the growth of polyps or nodules.
Drugs for the treatment of laryngitis
Berodual with laryngitis prescribed in the first days since the onset of the disease. It helps to increase the secretion of sputum and improve its separation. This drug is available in the form of an aerosol and a nebul for use in a nebulizer inhaler.
Bioparox with laryngitis prescribed in the case of a bacterial infection that caused the inflammatory process. The aerosol is sprayed onto the surface of the mucous membrane, where it locally exerts the necessary antiseptic effect.
Lisopact when laryngitis has a local antiseptic effect of active ingredients in its composition. These tablets for laryngitis are prescribed for adults and children over three years old for resorption.
Lugol with laryngitis, it is used in the form of a liquid to lubricate the inflamed mucous membranes or spray. The components of this medicine for laryngitis have a local irritant effect and destroy pathogenic flora.
Pulmicort for laryngitis, it is used as an emergency aid to relieve laryngeal edema. Often this drug is used in pediatrics for the treatment of stenosing laryngitis.
Hexoral with laryngitis has a local antimicrobial and antifungal effects of a wide spectrum. It is prescribed for the treatment of inflammatory processes in the larynx of a bacterial nature. Depending on the age of the patient, it can be used in the form of an aerosol or syrup for laryngitis.
Folk remedies for laryngitis
In the treatment of disease in children, folk remedies cannot replace traditional therapy. This is due primarily to the fact that their action is not as fast as that of medication, and to prevent laryngeal edema in children, medicine requires maximum efficacy. Home remedies in this case are good only as an additional therapy, which further accelerates the recovery:
Sea buckthorn berries – An excellent medicine for laryngitis, which not only relieves inflammation, but also has a positive effect on immunity. In order to have this herbal remedy at hand throughout the year, it is necessary to freeze part of the berries during the harvest period.
Compress bow on the sore throat gives a quick healing effect. For the procedure, prepare the onion mass by rubbing 1 head of onions on a large grater.
Can be used for the treatment of disease and the composition of milk and freshly squeezed carrot juice. To prepare a healing drink, 20 ml of milk are heated and 20 ml of juice is poured into it.
Cranberry and honey also effective in laryngitis in children. In order to obtain a healing drug, you should squeeze 120 milliliters of cranberry juice and combine with the same amount of honey.
The following steps may help reduce the risk of laryngitis: