Saturday, June 8, 2013

Laryngitis

This past week started like any other week, until Tuesday evening... I started to get that oh so common feeling of a cold coming on. I tried to fight it with lots of orange juice and my vitamins but the common cold won. By my last day of work on Friday I had a pretty severe case of Laryngitis. I explained to most of my pediatric patients that I had a "frog in my throat."

While I was working with one little girl she was very clever and asked "how did you get that frog in your throat?" Of course I made a silly face and shrugged "I don't know!" Soon enough a picture card with the target word "Kiss" came up displayed with a picture of a princess kissing a frog... My patient then was very excited and said "Ms. Mallory! Did you kiss that frog? Is that how it got in your throat?" My answer? "Yes, that must have been it, never kiss frogs! ...Ribbit!"

Throughout the day my colleagues advised me to drink plenty of water and to practice humming. Well the humming had to hold off - my voice was too well gone for me to even attempt. But I have been drinking plenty of water!

So what causes laryngitis?
Obviously, as Speech-Language Pathologists we know that over use of your voice can cause your vocal folds to become inflamed and irritated thus causing laryngitis. Other reasons include: gastro-esophageual reflux disease, the common cold and irritants such as allergies, smoke or pollution.

The Cure?
Usually Laryngitis resolves in approximately 2 weeks. You'll want lots of rest (that includes no whispering) and hydration! You may want to use a humidifier to add moister into the air and of course if you smoke you'll want to stop. If you have visited your physician they may recommend an antibiotic or a corticosteroid. Some cases of Laryngitis can last over 2 weeks which is then considered "chronic." If you haven't seen your physician by this time, you really should consider it! At that point in time they may send you to an otolaryngologist for further assessment to rule out any other pathology. 

Fun Videos!

I wanted to include some videos I found on youtube - I though this one by Dr. James Thomas was very interesting with his perspectives on Laryngitis in relation to reflux.

I also enjoyed this video by Dr. Susan McGladdery


Have you ever had laryngitis? Do you ever collaborate with your ENT's or physicians on providing education for vocal hygiene/health to reduce risk of laryngitis or other vocal pathologies? 



1 comment:

  1. My allergies go straight to my vocal cords, and I lost my voice for 3 weeks this semester. My teacher friends had fun telling me to drink water and do vocal rest!

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