The larynx is the anatomical structure that houses the vocal cords. When inflammation of the larynx occurs, it is called laryngitis.
This inflammation is due to multiple causes, the most frequent being allergy, smoking, gastroesophageal reflux and respiratory virus infections. Its main symptom is hoarseness or dysphonia, being a frequent annoyance that we have all suffered at some time in our lives.
You can check this article on how to relieve hoarseness with essential oils.
The laryngitis is a condition that affects children and adults and are expected to appear in at least 7 out of the 100,0000 inhabitants, weekly. The symptoms of laryngitis have an impact on daily life, including school and work tasks. In view of its relevance, in this article we will talk about laryngitis, its causes and symptoms.
Causes of laryngitis
The laryngitis can be acute or chronic, depending on whether it lasts more than three weeks. The causes are varied, since laryngitis can have an inflammatory or infectious origin, or be secondary to a local or systemic disease. Among the causes of laryngitis are:
Viral infections due to respiratory viruses
In children under 3 years of age, respiratory viruses (such as rhinovirus, influenza, etc.) cause inflammation not only of the larynx but also of the trachea, in a condition known as laryngotracheitis. Inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, in children, leads to hoarseness, a thick cough (called a barking cough), and shortness of breath.
This condition is known as laryngeal croup. According to the Spanish Society of Pediatrics, laryngotracheitis or laryngeal croup constitutes 20% of respiratory infections in childhood.
They are common in children and adults. The main bacteria that cause laryngitis in children and adults are Haemophilus influenzae, pneumonococcus (Streptococcus pneumoniae), Staphylococcus aureus, beta hemolytic streptococci, Moraxella catarrhalis and Klebsiella pneumoniae
Atypical germs (Legionella and Mycoplasma pneumoniae) can also cause laryngitis. These infections can progress to a lower respiratory infection and cause bronchitis or pneumonia, so they must be treated with antibiotics early.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 patients with laryngitis may have an infection caused by fungi (especially Candida albicans). Previously, it was believed that this infection was only typical of patients with low defenses, however, in recent years it has been seen in immunocompetent patients, who have frequent use of inhaled antibiotics and corticosteroids such as budesonide.
When speaking of traumatic causes, those injuries produced on the larynx or vocal cords secondary to toxic agents such as cigarette smoke, inhalation of chemicals and exposure to smoke from burning materials (such as firewood) are named. It is also considered a trauma to the larynx, talking loudly, singing or screaming constantly, which can generate local inflammation.
Gastroesophageal reflux laryngitis
Gastroesophageal reflux is the return of food content and gastric juice from the stomach to the esophagus and mouth. This condition occurs due to gastrointestinal disorders such as gastritis or some failure in the closure of the upper esophageal sphincter. On its way to the mouth, gastric juice causes irritation of the oropharynx and larynx, causing symptoms of laryngitis.
The laryngitis reflux is very common, especially in adult smokers or frequent consumption of alcohol and coffee, and it is estimated that 1 in 10 people who consult the doctor otolaryngologist for the inconvenience, have the disease due to gastroesophageal reflux.
Occasionally, hypersensitivity reactions to certain foods or medications that cause inflammation in the glottis and vocal cords can occur. If this allergy manifests itself acutely and is accompanied by difficulty breathing, an intoxication or anaphylactic reaction must be ruled out (which constitutes a medical emergency). Mild inflammation of the glottis and epiglottis can also occur during exposure to cold.
How is laryngitis manifested?
The Laryngitis manifests as a nuisance to speak, which may be accompanied by pain and other symptoms such as coughing and feeling of wanting to clear your throat. In general, the symptoms of laryngitis are:
· Dysphonia or difficulty speaking, because the inflammation of the vocal cords prevents them from vibrating and generating their usual sound. The dysphonia can be mild (hoarseness) or it can be so severe that the patient loses his voice temporarily (aphonia).
· A feeling of pressure or a lump in the throat (pharyngeal globus)
· Pain or discomfort in the neck.
· Sometimes difficulty swallowing or dysphagia.
· It can be accompanied by fever, general malaise, joint and muscle pain, and headache.
· Difficulty breathing.
It is important that if you have any of these symptoms and they do not improve within 72 hours or are accompanied by difficulty in breathing, you consult your doctor for the most appropriate treatment.
A few other nutrients are also keys to improving eyesight. Among them are lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids found in the retina. You can also find them in leafy green vegetables, broccoli, zucchini, and eggs. Lutein and zeaxanthin can also be taken in supplement form. These carotenoids help protect the macula by improving pigment density in that part of the eye, and absorbing ultraviolent and blue light.