The number of cases of chronic laryngitis has been increasing over the last years due to increased pollution and toxic products in homes and workplaces. This has lead medical experts to pay more attention to this health problem that clearly affects more and more people every year.
About chronic laryngitis
Chronic laryngitis involves often irreversible alterations of the mucous lining of the larynx. These alterations are inflammatory in nature, as a response to various irritating factors. The inflammation causes tissues to swell and press on the vocal cords, which results in changes of their functioning. The symptoms of this process are mainly related to the voice, which may become hoarse, weak or raspy, and in some cases a person suffering from laryngitis may not even be able to talk for a certain period.
Laryngitis may also cause sore throat, especially in the beginning, but in chronic laryngitis the main symptom is hoarseness, without other complaints. A person suffering from it may also experience persistent cough.
Chronic laryngitis can affect anyone although it is more common in men than in women and it seems to affect elderly people more. It is believed that men are more at risk of chronic laryngitis because they smoke more than women and because they are more involved in work activities that expose them to pollutants and irritants, such as construction work.
Treatment for chronic laryngitis
The main step in the treatment of chronic laryngitis is to reduce the exposure to irritants, which may include various toxins, pollutants, fumes, cigarette smoke and such. Doctors usually recommend drinking plenty of water in order to keep the mucous lining of the laryngitis from drying. Dry air is not favorable for this condition and patients are advised to use vaporizers or indoor humidifiers, especially while sleeping.
Chronic laryngitis is a frustrating and discomforting problem but many people do not see it as serious, which is why they do not report it to a doctor. This is not good because chronic laryngitis can actually result from another underlying health issue which should be addressed and treated.
Doctors usually first suspect environmental factors and pollutants to be the cause of chronic laryngitis, however, if those are excluded and the problem still persists, it may be required to see a specialist, such as gastroenterologist, pulmonologist, otolaryngologists or speech therapists.
People who have allergies often suffer from laryngitis and they should see a specialist in that area, who will advise them on how to reduce the effect of allergies on their overall health.