March 24, 2010

Cause, Symptoms And Treatment Of Hoarseness

Posted in Category : Common Ailments


Hoarseness is a problem that occurs after an upper respiratory tract infection. The actual change in the sound of one’s voice is a result of the inflammation that occurs in the voice box or larynx. One of the characteristics of inflammation is swelling and because of this change in the shape of the larynx and the mucus that blocks the correct vibration of the laryngeal tissue, the auditory appearance of hoarseness results. The typical symptoms of a hoarse voice include an inability to vocalize at higher pitches with the sufferer being stuck at a low manageable pitch that can sometimes be inaudible completely.


Upper respiratory tract infections are caused by a pathogen like a virus or a bacterium being breathed in and getting trapped in the throat or sinuses. When the invader is trapped in the sinuses, a condition called nasal drip can cause infected mucus to follow gravity and land on the larynx. This can cause the laryngeal tissue to also get infected. There is very little that can be done if the infective agent is a virus, as there are no cures for virus-borne diseases. The only hope that lies is then to simply treat the symptoms and wait for a week before the body destroys and eliminates the virus from the zone of infection. Typically, a viral upper respiratory tract infection is also characterized by fever and watery eyes while a bacterial infection is limited just to the site of infection.


To cure an upper respiratory tract infection, start with eliminating bacteria in the throat and reducing the severity of symptoms of the inflammation. The best way to do this is by consuming garlic, which is nature’s natural antibiotic. It is best to have this in the form of a soup that must be drunk hot. Most upper respiratory tract infections don’t traverse down to the lungs because some pathogens can only survive in the slightly colder temperatures of the upper respiratory tract; therefore the intake of hot fluids. Reducing the inflammation in a case of laryngitis involves the intake of some herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties. This can be found in turmeric, chili, ginger, and feverfew. Pepper is usually advised to slow down the excretion of the active ingredients in these herbs. Try to mash and have all of these together as a soup. Feverfew and ginger can even be had as additions to tea. Using over the counter antihistamines, like diphenhydramine, is also advised.