Imagine waking up to find your voice is hoarse and raspy, barely there or not there at all. Chances are you have laryngitis. What is laryngitis? It is an inflammation of the larynx. There is swelling around the vocal cords so they cannot vibrate normally. Laryngitis is a common condition that often occurs in conjunction with an upper respiratory infection. Symptoms may include a sore, scratchy throat, fever, runny nose, fatigue, achiness, wheezing, cough and difficulty swallowing.

The most irritating aspect of laryngitis is the inability to speak. An affected person may be able to speak but barely over a whisper. This condition can be detrimental fro those who must speak constantly through the course of their daily work such as teachers. The good news is that laryngitis doesn’t usually last very long. Usually within a few days to a week your voice will return to normal. Laryngitis may also occur due to strain on the throat and larynx. People who use their voice more than average such as lecturers or singers may experience temporary hoarseness or loss of voice.

How can you treat laryngitis? Most of the time laryngitis runs its course. It usually doesn’t last very long. Treatment may include pain relievers and rest. Gargling with warm salt water can be helpful to ease an irritated throat. The use of a vaporizer can also be beneficial.

Is there any way to prevent laryngitis? Although you may not be able to completely protect yourself from getting laryngitis there are steps that you can take to lessen your chances of getting laryngitis. Good hygiene is always an important preventative measure to take. During the winter months make sure to dress properly when going out. Wear warm layers of clothing to keep in body heat. Drink plenty of warm liquids. Take vitamin supplements. Drink orange juice daily to be sure you get adequate Vitamin C. It will help prevent you from getting colds and sore throat.

Try not to strain your voice any more than necessary. Don’t scream or yell. Speak in a lower tone of voice if your throat begins to feel sore or scratchy. Get plenty of rest. Take care of yourself and your voice. You’ll be less likely to lose it. If you’ve got laryngitis preserve what little voice you have until you fully recuperate. Don’t talk unless you have to. Straining your voice may only result in prolonging the condition.