Laryngitis may be short-lived (acute) or long lasting (chronic). Most cases of laryngitis are triggered by temporary viral infection or vocal strain and aren’t serious. Persistent hoarseness can sometimes signal a more serious underlying medical condition. This is when you’ll need to see the otolaryngologist or ENT. (Ears, nost and throat doctor)
The first two times I had laryngitis, there were no other symptoms. I just woke up one day and my voice was gone. The first two times occurred when I was living in San Diego, and one of those happened was when I was booked at a studio for some commercial recording. Fortunately , the producer rescheduled instead of replacing me. Recovery was swift and the family had to put up with hand written notes and hand gestures for a day or two.
The stakes are higher now as a full time voice artist and entrepreneur. Now, there are just too many short-term auditions, and rush projects all every day depending on the ability to quickly deliver the goods. And the goods had better be in good shape! When you have no voice, well friends, you’re just- as they say, SOL.
My third encounter with the dreaded “L “word began with chills, followed by fever, and general malaise that leveled me and hijacked my voice. The flu like symptoms went straight for the heart and soul of my life’s work, my voice box. This time it was really bad, and I was scared.
I couldn’t do much. I unplugged and slept up to twelve hours at a time. I wasn’t hungry, turned down auditions and work, and slept some more.
What I did :
- I observed complete vocal rest
- Gargled with warm salt water
- Drank about a gallon of water per day, including Throat Coat tea with slippery elm, clear juices , sucked on lemon mint Ricola lozenges and used a steam inhaler several times a day.
- I also researched Laryngitis, and tried to find out more about vocal health, preventive maintenance of the voice and evaluated home remedies, some of which seemed kind of unappealing.
Recommended from Research:
- Don’t smoke, and stay away from second-hand smoke
- Avoid alcohol. It tends to desiccate, and in the end is dehydrating, plus it’s a depressant. I’m depressed enough that I have no voice. No need to rub salt into the wound.
- Refrain from overuse of voice, stressing it, especially yelling or screaming. You could develop nodes or polyps on your vocal folds, which could require surgery. And most of us have heard about the botched Julie Andrews vocal surgery that never allowed her to sing again. Are you willing to risk that? Not me! If you perform vocally stressful work, like permorning animation voices or in video games, be sure to give equal time to vocal rest.
- Don’t try to force the voice to sound normal while having laryngitis, as it can cause permanent damage.
Well by the third day, the fever broke but the dry hoarse cough remained. I still had chills and lethargy, and on the stern recommendation of my Facebook friends (along with many of their remedies) I visited my Doctor. She listened to my chest and put me on a strong antibiotic for treatment of pneumonia! I’m finally on the mend, save for some residual coughing and using an expectorant. (guaifenesin) Energy is returning, and so is my vocal range, albeit slowly. I’m feeling lucky that it started during a lighter than normal work week; the week after Easter, when a lot of folks take Spring break. Still drinking lots of water, and resting!
Never, never ever take your God-given voice and general health for granted!