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anniereborn's avatar

Experience with laryngitis?

Asked by anniereborn (5277 points ) March 10th, 2014

A bit over two weeks ago I began the most horrible bout of bronchitis I have ever dealt with. It is now down to an infrequent, yet still a bit congested cough.

I DID go see a doc 2 weeks ago. He gave me codeine cough syrup which only sorta worked.

At any rate my voice has been either gone or some stage of “really bad” since then. For about a week I couldn’t talk at all.
If it is still bad by the end of the week, I plan to go see my doc (I’m not able to go until then).

I was just wondering if anyone else had such a long lasting bout of no voice?

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17 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

We had a really nasty variety of what we called the flu going around here a few months ago. It hung on for 4 weeks. I got it on Christmas day and I was hurting till really late January. I didn’t lose my voice but it was pretty raspy. Hope you feel better soon.

JLeslie's avatar

Don’t talk. You have to let your vocal chords rest. Drink just barely hot tea or soups to help relax the muscles in the throat.

I’m surprised that illness is still travelling around, that virus was a doozy and travelled the country. It lasts 3–4 weeks for everyone. As long as your cough is just down to middle of the night and early morning you are probably almost over it. If your codeine cough medicine has Guaifenasine in it then that is an expectorant so continue to take it at night for a few more days if you haven’t been taking it. If it doesn’t have an expectorant then you might try some over the counter cough medicine like Robitussin or the drug store equivalent DM. Taking it at night should help you sleep and loosen what is left in your lungs. It has an expectorant and supressant. Don’t take cough medicine with antihystamines or decongestants in them.

yankeetooter's avatar

What @JLeslie said ^...and don’t whisper! Whispering is actually worse for your voice than talking. Hot tea, soups (non-cream based), and the like will help too…but steer clear of caffeine as it actually dries you out more.

JLeslie's avatar

@yankeetooter Don’t be recommending a change in caffeine intake. It isn’t drying anyone out and the withdrawal will make the OP miserable. Unless she is popping caffeine pills, we drink our caffeine with tons of fluid. Coffee, tea, coke, we are hydrating usually when we drink caffeine. I’m all for kicking the habit, I quit caffeine over 15 years ago.

Stinley's avatar

It’s tough to be ill but most throat complaints are viral and no amount of cough mixture or antibiotics will help. You just have to nurse yourself until you feel better. Good advice here about drinking plenty. Take painkillers – in child syrups if that’s easier to swallow – ibuprofen will help reduce inflammation in your throat and vocal chords (sp?). Rest as much as possible

downtide's avatar

Honey is soothing and protective on the throat. It’s also a natural antibacterial. Back when I was a singer I would always take a spoonful of honey three times a day when recovering from a cold or sore throat.

JLeslie's avatar

@Stinley Why do you say cough medicine won’t help? It certainly can help the symptoms. Some people don’t move the crap out of their lungs well, and the expectirant might even be mire beneficial for them to avoid pneumonia. The cough depressant gives the diaphragm some rest and other parts of the body irritated by the cough. Our bodies don’t always do the right things, it can go overboard when trying to fight invaders and cause some harm. Treating symptoms can be a good thing, even if it doesn’t speed up the process of getting over the illness. For instance, treating a fever would be in that category. Sometimes the body increases the body temp so much it is dangerous. In general fevers don’t do enough to kill off the virus or bacteria and it is better to control the fever. It doesn’t cure the illness though, just manages the symptoms.

Antibiotics are a whole different thing, those are used for a cure, which as you said won’t work for a virus.

Juels's avatar

Much to my family’s disappointment, I’ve never completely lost of my voice. Once, I had a squeaky voice for about a week, but it went away. I felt bad that my family had their hopes dashed once again.

The above advice is pretty sound. Warm tea, honey, soup, decongestants and stop talking. If it persists, see the doctor again. Hope you feel better soon.

Stinley's avatar

@JLeslie I have read it on quite a few quality assured health information website like this

JLeslie's avatar

@Stinley Interesting. Thanks for the link. I feel like the cough suppressant in robitussin works for me. When I was little my mom used to get me the codein one so she could sleep at nightl we weren’t allowed to cough growing up. LOL. I do think people take cough medicine because they wake up coughing and if they just gave it a half an hour their cough would settle anyway. I also think it depends why someone has the cough.

What I am really against is that in the last 15 years doctors have been prescribing steroids for colds and bacterial infections with a cough, which I think is awful and causes more harm than good.

anniereborn's avatar

Thank you everyone for your help! My voice is still bad. I also still have a cough, but it’s mostly a dry irritating one. I am however going to the doc on Thursday.

JLeslie's avatar

@anniereborn Is it difficult for you to take a deep breath in? Can you expand your lungs to what feels like the usual size when you take a deep breath?

anniereborn's avatar

@JLeslie I can take a deep breath in just fine :)
At this point I am much more concerned about the laryngitis than my cough.

JLeslie's avatar

That’s good. Good about the deep breath I mean. It is a long time for laryngitis. If it makes you feel better I know several people who had no voice for 4 or 5 days with what is probably the same bug you have, and raspy for over two weeks.

anniereborn's avatar

It’s been 3 weeks tomorrow since this sickness settled in. About 3 days in my voice started getting raspy. Yeh, I think I had no voice totally for about 4 or 5 days too. Then mostly in and out. I have not been talking much, but last night I did have to take an important phone call. After talking for five minutes, my voice went from hoarse to a squeaky whisper.
Let’s see what the doc says today.

anniereborn's avatar

So I went to the doctor today as my laryngitis has now been going on for 2.5 weeks. Just a few days after the Bronchitis started. He looks at my ears and throat, listens to my lungs etc. proclaims it’s a virus stemming from the Bronchitis and that only time will heal it . And to try not to talk. Sigh….He says it could take another two weeks What the hell do people who have to use their voice for a job do? Just take a month off work??? UGH

downtide's avatar

@anniereborn “What the hell do people who have to use their voice for a job do? Just take a month off work??? ”

Depends whether they’re in an “at will” state or not. If not, their employer would probably find them an alternative task to do while they recover. This happens where I work – the site is a call-centre with about 500 people on the phones. When someone is unable to speak for whatever reason, but otherwise well enough to attend work, they end up in my office doing behind-the-scenes stuff.

In an “at will” state their employers would simply fire them.

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