No Voice and Cough? Best Remedies to Relieve Your Misery
The condition of losing one's voice due to a sore throat is known as laryngitis. If you've caught a bad cold and wake up one morning with a sore throat and a voice that comes out in whispers and squeaks, there's a very good chance you've got laryngitis.
Causes and Symptoms
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx) caused by irritation, overuse or infection. In this condition, the vocal cords swell up and any sound you try to make is muffled and hoarse. Though the condition is usually viral, there are a number of chronic forms of the illness which can be caused by alcohol abuse and smoking. A role may also be played by acid reflux, wherein strong acids travel from the stomach into the throat and reach the larynx, irritating it and robbing you of your voice. Some other possible causes may include allergy, fungal or bacterial infection, sinus disease, throat injury or inhaling chemical fumes.
Some of the telltale signs that you may have laryngitis include:
- Weak voice or voice loss
- Sore throat
- Dry throat
- Dry cough
- Swollen glands
- Low-grade fever
Can You Treat Laryngitis at Home?
There are, indeed, a number of treatments you can undertake at home for your sore throat and lost voice.
1. Give your voice some rest
The first and foremost remedy, obviously, is to give your vocal cords ample rest. You must try to steer clear of a lot of talking or shouting. If in a group, you'll have to suppress the natural tendency to strain your voice to be heard. You should also take a few days off from singing, using your voice as little as possible.
2. Fill up on fluids
Drinking fluids is a good idea whenever you're sick, particularly when you're suffering from a "sore throat can't talk” condition. Keep yourself hydrated with water, clear broth, juice and tea. Each of these can consequently loosen the phlegm and flush out the mucus from your system, thereby reducing the infection. Tea, soup and other warm liquids can ease congestion by smoothing the flow of mucus.
3. Humidify to add moisture
Dry air, when inhaled, tends to irritate the throat and add to the inflammation of the vocal cords. Especially in winter, when heating units in your home and office pump dry air for you to inhale. A vaporizer or humidifier is very useful in adding moisture to the air and loosening phlegm.
4. Enjoy a couple of lozenges
Throat lozenges are useful in adding moisture to the throat, relieving pain and reducing your coughing. You could try a natural throat lozenge, preferably one containing honey.
5. Gargle warm salt water
Gargling is known for its soothing effect on a sore and irritated throat. It washes the virus out by creating a high salt barrier and pulling out a lot of fluids from the tissues in the throat. Take sips from an 8-ounce glass of water with about 1/2 tsp salt stirred in and gargle around the back of your throat before spitting it out.
6. Sip honey in warm tea
Honey is often used for sore throats and can be used as a great "no voice due to cough” remedy too. In a study, honey was found to be even more effective at soothing nighttime coughs than regular cough suppressants. It contains a protein which has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Plus, it's delicious!
7. Consume apple cider vinegar
The antimicrobial properties in this vinegar can fight off infection. Pour 1-2 tbsp in a small glass of water, maybe even add a little honey for a better effect and drink this for a couple of days.
8. Herbal is the best way to go
Ginger root, for instance, has numerous health benefits and has been used in traditional medicine for many years. Use ginger in any way you like, such as adding it to a pot of boiling water, with your tea, or even with smoothies to suppress that irritating dry cough. You could also opt for herbs like peppermint that can soothe dry coughs and sore throats effectively.
What are the things you should avoid?
There is more to it than just a few home remedies. There are a number of dos and don'ts that you absolutely must be aware of.
Don't sing or shout. Singing and shouting can both add unnecessary strain to your vocal cords, leading to greater inflammation and a worsened condition. You must be careful about using your voice as little as possible and speaking in normal volumes when it absolutely cannot be avoided.
Don't whisper either. A rather unusual point, whispering actually puts more stress on the vocal cords than speaking at normal volumes. It should therefore be avoided completely.
Stay away from alcohol. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect which can adversely affect the throat. Staying hydrated is very important for the healing process.
Don't accept any decongestants. Decongestants sold over the counter pose the risk of drying out your throat, causing the irritation to grow instead of abating it.
Stop smoking immediately. Smoking of any kind can worsen the damage to your throat tremendously. Let's face it, for some of you, the very reason that you're suffering from laryngitis might lie in your smoking tendencies (assuming you have any). The last thing you'll want to do when you're suffering from laryngitis is smoke and increase the damage any further.
Don't clear your throat. With irritation and dryness in the throat, it becomes second nature to us to clear our throat once in a while to ease the soreness. This, however, can damage the vocal cords further and must be avoided at all costs.
Take Home Message
Laryngitis is a painful condition that may arise for various reasons and cause immense irritation, infection and soreness in the throat, sometimes even resulting in the loss of one's voice. It is very important that you know exactly how to deal with this condition, avoid what needs to be avoided and take care of your vocal cords to prevent further damage.
The video provided below should help you get a better idea of the right remedies for coughs and losing your voice, helping you tackle the problem the correct way.