Using your voice to communicate is such a natural activity that you realize its importance only when you lose your voice. Medically known as laryngitis, it is a condition where loss of voice or hoarseness occurs when you have swelling or irritation of your larynx or voice box. Your vocal chords are part of your larynx which is located at the top of your trachea, the airway to your lungs.
The most common cause of laryngitis is a viral infection, often similar to those that cause the common cold or flu. Overusing your voice can also cause inflammation of the larynx. While your first step should be to consult with your doctor, you can also take other steps to help your larynx heal faster.
What You Shouldn’t Have
Some acidic foods that cause acid reflux can also cause laryngitis. Acid reflux causes the contents of your stomach to back flow into your esophagus burning your larynx. Sometimes people do not realize that they have acid reflux. Even if you don’t it’s best to avoid acidic foods if you have lost your voice. If your throat is in a sensitive condition, acidic foods can also burn your throat as they pass down to your stomach for digestion. Such foods include pineapples, lemons, oranges and tomato-based products.
When your larynx is damaged, eating spicy foods can cause further damage and irritation prolonging laryngitis. Symptoms such as scratchy throat, dry cough, rawness in your throat and hoarseness can be aggravated by spicy foods. In some cases, irritation can also cause irreversible damage, especially if you constantly clear your throat and continue to try to talk through the irritation.
Chocolate And Peppermint
Chocolate contains a small quantity of caffeine, which is a diuretic causing your body to lose more water. Peppermint could worsen conditions such as acid reflux which aggravate laryngitis. Even small amounts of chocolate or peppermint can worsen the symptoms of laryngitis, so it’s best to avoid hem completely until your vocal chords have healed completely.
Alcoholic beverages can have a burning effect, which can worsen laryngitis. Alcohol is also a diuretic and can cause dehydration. When you have laryngitis, drinking plenty of water to keep your throat moist and hydrated is essential to healing. Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks because they also have a dehydrating effect similar to alcohol.
What You Should Have
According to a study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, a single nighttime dose of buckwheat honey was given to children ages 2 to 18 years suffering from upper respiratory tract infections. The honey was superior to placebo in improving cough frequency, cough severity and child and parent sleep quality. In addition, the honey treatment was as effective as dextromethorphan, a common over-the-counter cough medication.
Though there isn’t extensive research to confirm the effectiveness of chamomile tea as a remedy for laryngitis, one study published in the Journal of Herbal Pharmacotherapy found that a tea consisting of chamomile plus seven other herbs is more effective than a placebo tea in reducing sleep discomfort, cough frequency and cough intensity in patients with allergic asthma. You can also try any warm, decaffeinated tea to help soothe your sore throat.
Fluids, in general, are good for you when you’re trying to recover your voice. Drinking plenty of water daily and inhaling mist from a humidifier or vaporizer keeps your throat and vocal cords moist, easing discomfort and irritation. If you have laryngitis and are not drinking enough water, take some extra effort to have more. It’s a simple remedy that will help your body heal faster.