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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Laryngitis is when your larynx is swollen because of an infection or irritation. The larynx is also called the voice box because it contains your vocal cords. Your vocal cords also swell and change shape, which can cause your voice to sound different.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
- Rest your voice: Do not shout or scream if you get laryngitis often. This will help prevent swelling and irritation of your larynx.
- Avoid irritants and harmful substances: Do not breathe in chemicals or allergens, such as pollen. Alcohol and tobacco can also irritate your larynx.
- Avoid foods and liquids that can cause acid reflux: These may include carbonated drinks, spicy foods and sauces, citrus fruit, peppermint, and chocolate.
- Avoid the spread of germs:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Carry germ-killing gel with you. You can use the gel to clean your hands when there is no soap and water available.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have washed your hands first.
- Always cover your mouth when you cough. Cough into a tissue or your shirtsleeve so you do not spread germs from your hands.
- Try to avoid people who have a cold or the flu. If you are sick, stay away from others as much as possible.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever.
- You feel large, tender lumps in your neck.
- You are hoarse for more than 7 days.
- You have new or increased throat pain.
- You have questions about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your throat is bleeding.
- You are hoarse for more than 7 days and your chest feels tight.
- You are drooling and have trouble swallowing.
- You have trouble breathing.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.