TREATMENTS FOR VOCAL LOSS OR LARYNGITIS Part 1 & 2
Part 1: Vocal Loss or Laryngitis Caused By Overuse and Abuse:
Can’t talk? Some may say that’s a good thing! But don’t let that stop you. Should your vocal cords become dry, hoarse or you have complete voice loss due to overuse, abuse such as shouting, or incorrect speaking or singing, then your vocal cords are most likely also swollen and possibly disfigured. When your cords are swollen and/or disfigured, they are unable to vibrate properly, resulting in laryngitis or total vocal loss.
Your vocal cords, or vocal folds, also desperately need lubrication in order to vibrate at the proper rate. Dry vocal cords are like two pieces of sand paper rubbing together which, of course, will cause irritation. This can eventually progress into a damaged area such as a ruptured blood vessel, a callous, nodes or worse. Amazingly, your cords will produce their own mucus to lubricate dry, irritated cords, but the down side is that mucus will often stick to your cords and add to the incorrect vibration, also causing your laryngitis. So, here is a list of ‘things to do’ should you encounter any of these challenges preventing you from expressing yourself!
- Rest your vocal cords. Don’t talk or make any sound if possible. Sleep may be the best medicine.
- Don’t whisper, thinking that’s helping. Try and produce as normal a speaking voice as possible. If only a whisper will come out and you HAVE to talk, then that’s all you get, just try to limit talking like this drastically.
- Drink lots of water! Your vocal cords need to be hydrated! Also, it will wash down the mucus or phlegm as you swallow. Take several tiny sips at a time as the motion of the swallowing process forces matter off the cords and down the esophagus.
- If you’re speaking at all, try to speak just a little higher than you normally do. Your vocal cords will vibrate in a different location than normal and give the overused area a break. Breathe a little deeper than normal before speaking and use a more treble like sound vs. bass sound when you speak. Try to speak like a little kid or a munchkin.
- LAST BUT NOT LEAST BECAUSE IT WORKS: Sip on ice water! 8 to 10 little sips in a row. Then, actually suck or chew on ice (careful of your teeth, however!) and let it melt down the back of your throat. Don’t attempt to talk while icing your cords. Ice for about two minutes and then take a break for two minutes, and repeat. Repeat this process two or three times and then don’t speak at all for a half an hour or longer. Ice shrinks swelling! This will help more than any other non-invasive remedy on the market!
Part 2: Vocal Loss or Laryngitis Caused By Infection:
Let me first say that, sometimes, there is the need to see a medical doctor for an antibiotic to cure an infection. However, we have overused antibiotics to the extent that they are not always the best go-to plan if you can avoid them. You will have to be the best judge as to whether it’s time to make that call. In the meantime, here are great suggestions for fighting your way through laryngitis if it is due to an infection.
Follow all the instructions 1 through 5 in Vocal Loss Treatment Due to Overuse or Abuse: Part 1 to begin repair on your swollen vocal cords.
Next, the phlegm that comes from a chest cold carries the infection! It can really irritate and burn your vocal cords, so getting it off of your cords quickly as it develops is important! This can be done with a gargle, a good cough and spit, (lovely, I know) the use of a steam vaporizer, a vibrating lip blow to loosen and dislodge the phlegm, and lots of water. I strongly suggest you use ice water to continue to shrink the swelling!
- FIGHT THE INFECTION! Use a gargle of one half hydrogen peroxide and one half room temperature water, as the bottle will indicate. Stick your tongue out while your head is tilted back and gargle being careful not to swallow too much of the solution. Spit out most of what you have gargled. Note: You are not suppose to swallow significant amounts of the mixture, however, a tiny bit will trail down your throat and over your cords and then down your esophagus. Gargle about three times in a row. It tastes a little funny, but don’t rinse as the residue will continue to be swallowed and work it’s magic dissolving your phlegm and mucus off your cords while helping fight any infection in the esophageal tract.
After all my personal, gross experimentation on my own body as well as in the sink, this solution washes the vocals cords clean better than any concoction I have found. That would include lemon, cayenne pepper, Vocal Ease, vinegar, etc.
In fact, the cells responsible for fighting infection and foreign invaders in the body (your white blood cells) make hydrogen peroxide and use it tooxidize any offending culprits. The intense bubbling you see when hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with a bacteria-laden cut or wound is the oxygen being released and bacteria being destroyed. The ability of our cells to produce hydrogen peroxide is essential for life. H202 is not some undesirable by-product or toxin, but instead a basic requirement for good health.
- Do take extra vitamin C. 2000 mg a day would be fine. Vitamin C also promotes the production of hydrogen peroxide in the body!
- Do take ibuprofen as in Advil as this also shrinks swelling and makes you feel better.)
- You can drink VERY hot, NOT scalding, tea or hot water with organic agave nectar or honey. You can add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice or, even better, apple cider vinegar. It will help melt the phlegm off your cords, and it feels good. However, just as cold compress is better for swelling tissue than hot, don’t over due the hot teas. This allows for the release of too much blood flow and thus allows for more or prolonged swelling.
- After you’ve enjoyed your hot tot tie, I strongly suggest you sip your ice water again to continue to keep your cords from swelling.