What is Laryngitis? The larynx houses your vocal chords which are which mucous membrane folds that cover cartilage and muscle. All of this forms the entrance to your wind pipe. If any infection or irritation occurs the larynx (voice box) becomes inflamed. This is referred as Laryngitis. With the inflammation and irritation that laryngitis causes, the swelling of the vocal chords that occurs from the inflammation or irritation causes the sound to distort as the air passes over the swollen vocal chords. When your vocal chords are healthy they open and close smoothly allowing for undistorted sounds occurring, which we recognise as normal speech.
Short-term or acute laryngitis is not a serious disorder and can be cured relatively quickly. Long-term laryngitis however, also referred to as chronic laryngitis that presents itself with a persistent hoarseness can indicate a more serious condition, in which case you should see your doctor or medical health practitioner. Some of the causes of chronic laryngitis are from excessive alcohol use, a reflux of stomach acid into the throat or esophagus. This is called gastroesophageal reflux disease.
The symptoms of Laryngitis are quite easy to identify. They include a dry throat or dry cough. The throat may be come sore and raw along with a tickling sensation in the area of the larynx. Laryngitis will also cause the sufferer to develop a weak voice and their speech may become hoarse. Laryngitis often occurs along side other illnesses such as flu, cold or pneumonia. Often it is a viral infection that causes laryngitis, but laryngitis may also be caused by bacterial infections. Although the symptoms mentioned above can occur in people of any age, sometimes there are other symptoms that come with the disorder particularly in adults and the elderly. These include the paralysing of the vocal chords due to a lung tumor, stroke or an injury. Sores and growths on the vocal chords, such as ulcers, polyps or nodules. The loosing of the vocal chords associated with the elderly, due to aging.
Author: Janie Jonah
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