Laryngitis is usually just a nuisance, but it can also be painful at times. Tame -- or even prevent -- that hoarse throat by using the home remedies below.
Cut out the caffeine. The caffeine in coffee, tea, and colas dehydrates you.
Use artificial saliva. It may sound unpleasant, but you can buy over-the counter (OTC) products that help keep your mouth and throat moist.
Speak softly. Talk as though you are seated with a friend in a cafe. More importantly, avoid yelling or speaking loudly.
But don't whisper. Contrary to what you might think, whispering is more stressful than a softly modulated voice.
Limit conversation. Give your voice a rest, as you would an injured limb. Become a person of few words so your voice can recover.
Don't clear your throat. No matter how tempting it feels, clearing your throat actually increases irritation.
Stop smoking. Chalk up one more reason to avoid tobacco. If you can't kick the habit completely, at least cut way back while your throat is healing.
Avoid smokers. Even passive smoke irritates the larynx. If you live with a smoker, ask him or her to take their habit outside.
Say no to recreational drugs. In addition to their other dangers, marijuana and cocaine are extremely rough on the larynx.
Abstain from alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates you -- the opposite of what you and your voice need. Alcohol abuse can cause long-term vocal problems.
Humidify the air. Indoor heating takes moisture out of the air. Use a humidifier or vaporizer (just be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions for keeping it clean).
Avoid dusty environments. The dust is irritating, and such places are often also dry, which compounds the problem.
Beware of certain drugs. Medications such as antihistamines and diuretics can dry your mouth and throat. Don't stop your prescription diuretics (often prescribed for high blood pressure), but think twice about taking OTC antihistamines. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any other medications you take could be drying.
Protect your voice. To help your voice heal and to prevent future attacks of laryngitis, learn how to take care of your voice. Staying well hydrated is the first step. Avoiding voice abuse is the next. And if you depend on your voice in your career -- whether you're an opera singer or a traveling salesperson -- you may want to invest in voice training.
In the next section, we'll introduce you to home remedies from your kitchen that can relieve throat discomfort.
For more information about conditions that affect the throat, try the following links:
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.