Myth or Fact: Can Laryngitis lead to loss of voice

New Delhi, April 7 (IANSlife) On World Health Day we look at something as simple as your voice and how essential it is to maintain its health.

Inflammation in the voice cord of your larynx (voice box) is known as laryngitis. The vocal cords inside the larynx normally open and close smoothly, forming sounds through their movement and vibration. However, the vocal cords become inflamed, due to laryngitis. So when the air passes through the vocal cards, they produce distorted sound due to swelling. As a result, your voice sounds hoarse.
Dr Shikha Sharma, Senior Consultant, ENT, Fortis Hospital, NOIDA demystifies the disorder sharing insight on the myths and facts around Laryngitis.
Laryngitis is usually caused by upper respiratory infection, common cold, overuse of vocal cord by shouting or singing, smoking, air pollution, irritation or gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). The most common signs and symptoms of the disease are hoarseness, weak or loss of voice, tickling sensation or rawness in the throat, sore or dry throat and dry cough.
You need to make an appointment with the doctor if your laryngitis symptoms last for more than two weeks. Since laryngitis in some cases makes the voice undetectable, it is often questioned if it can lead to permanent loss of voice. Well the answer is no, it is merely a myth as:
·The laryngitis is of two types — acute and chronic. Acute laryngitis usually lasts for a week and does not require any medical treatment. Resting your voice and fluid intake is good enough to cure it.
·Chronic laryngitis lasts for over 3 weeks and is a more serious problem than acute laryngitis. Though it does not cause any serious health issues and the symptoms rarely extend more than the illness. So even if it leads to the loss of voice during the illness, it does not mean you’ve lost your voice permanently.
·Chronic laryngitis might be caused due to voice abuse, smoking, drinking, GERD or pollution. Changing your lifestyle can help cure the disease faster.
·In case of voice abuse, smoking, drinking, or pollution doctor will recommend you the standard prevention guidelines. These activities dry your throat and increase the problem. He may also advise you to see a voice coach.
·In case of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), laryngitis will last as long as acid reflux continues. In such cases your doctor may recommend suitable antacids. He may also ask you to avoid spicy foods, fatty foods and foods that are acidic in nature like coffee, tea and orange juice.
There are several ways to get rid of laryngitis. Taking a hot shower, drinking plenty of liquids (especially warm liquids), gargling with hot water and resting your voice may give you relief. Also, avoid cigarettes, alcohol and decongestants.
However, if you are suffering from chronic laryngitis and you do not take necessary precautions, you can develop small nodules or polyps on your vocal cords, which may have to be removed surgically to improve your voice.
Laryngitis occurs when the Vocal chords are Inflamed or Swollen, which affects the quantity of your voice. You may end up with voice that is raspy and hoarse
It is self-deorbiting and should last for a few days and symptoms should resolve in 7 days but can prolong 2 weeks.
What is Laryngitis?
Laryngitis occurs when your voice box and vocal cords are inflamed from overuse, irritation, or infection. It can be acute (short term) lasting less than 3 weeks or it can be chronic (long term) lasting more than 3 weeks
Many conditions can cause the inflammation that results in Laryngitis
What causes Laryngitis?
Acute Laryngitis
·It is a temporary condition caused by the overusing of the Vocal cords.
·Viral infection
·Straining your vocal cords by talking or yelling
·Bacterial infection
·Drinking too much alcohol
Chronic Laryngitis
·Results from long term exposure to irritants or chemical
·Frequent sinus infection
·Smoking or being around smokers
·Overusing your voice
·Yeast infections caused by asthma Inhalers
·Cancer, paralysis of vocal cords, advance age

Symptoms of Laryngitis
·Meek voice
·Hoarse, dry throat
·Dry cough
Usually diagnosed on OPD Basis by doing Laryngoscopy

Home remedies to recover your voice
·Rest your voice
·Don’t whisper
·Use Anti inflammatory drugs
·Talk to doctor about medication
·Drink plenty of liquid
·Quit Smoking/Alcohol
Cigarette smoking can Irritate your vocal cords and cause your throat to smell.