Laryngitis: symptoms, treatment
- Laryngitis classification
- Causes of laryngitis
- Symptoms of laryngitis
- Diagnostic measures
- Laryngitis treatment
- Laryngitis and pregnancy
- Laryngitis in children
- Complications of laryngitis
- Prevention of laryngitis
Laryngitis is an inflammatory process that is localized on the mucous membrane of the larynx. It can flow independently or be a continuation of inflammations of the mucous membranes of the pharynx, nasopharynx, or nasal cavity in cases of acute respiratory diseases.
There are acute and chronic laryngitis in the course of the disease.
Types of acute laryngitis
According to the degree of spread of inflammatory processes, catarrhal and phlegmonous acute laryngitis (OL) are divided.
- Catarrhal acute laryngitis - inflammation, usually extending only the mucous membrane of the larynx. One of the forms of OL is pseudo-croup, in which inflammatory processes encompass the vocal cords as well as the area of the subglottic space. According to the severity of the main signs and respiratory failure, 4 severity of false croup (acute stenotic laryngitis) is divided.
- Phlegmonous acute laryngitis - characterized by the proliferation of the inflammatory process into the structure of the submucosal layer, muscle tissue, laryngeal cartilage, as well as its ligaments.
According to etiology, viral and bacterial forms of laryngitis are isolated.
Types of chronic laryngitis
In most cases, chronic laryngitis is the result of frequently repeated OL. They differ in catarrhal, hyperplastic and atrophic.
- Chronic catarrhal laryngitis - marked by the appearance of congestive hyperemia of the laryngeal mucosa. At the same time possible the formation of minor accumulations of mucus.
- Hyperplastic chronic laryngitis - in addition to the signs mentioned above, hypertrophy of the laryngeal mucosa and the appearance of symmetrical protrusions on the surface of the vocal cords are observed.
- Atrophic chronic laryngitis - the further spread of inflammatory processes is accompanied by the appearance of viscous, sometimes purulent discharge. Dark crusts appear on the mucous membrane of the pharynx. When coughing, phlegm with blood streaks separates.
Causes of laryngitis
It is not always possible to accurately determine the causes of laryngitis for each case. Doctors identify several major factors contributing to the development of inflammation in the larynx.
- Hypothermia - the head, legs, other parts of the body or the body completely.
- Inhalation of burning cold or, conversely, hot air by mouth.
- Contact with patients - whooping cough, chickenpox, flu or other acute respiratory viral infections. The incubation period for laryngitis of infectious origin can range from several hours to several days, depending on the pathogen.
- Inhalation of various irritants - polluted with dust, soot, air chemicals.
- Constant or one-time strong tension of the vocal cords is a long loud conversation, as well as a shout, especially in the case of adverse conditions indicated in the previous paragraph.
- Damage to the surface of the mucous membrane of the larynx - surgery, mechanical (fish bone, attempt to swallow badly chewed food, crackers).
- Alcohol abuse, smoking.
- Spread of infections from the paranasal sinuses, nasal cavity, mouth and other nearby areas.
An allergic reaction (to dust, pollen, smell), the presence of chronic gastrointestinal disease, accompanied by constant irritation of the mucous membranes of the larynx with gastric contents, chronic tonsillitis , dental caries , nasal curvature can provoke an attack of chronic laryngitis. Significantly contributes to the development of inflammatory processes weakening of the immune system, hormonal disorders.
Symptoms of laryngitis
The onset of inflammatory processes in the throat is usually manifested by the appearance of pain. Patients complain of pain when swallowing, scratchy, hoarseness, hoarseness. In some cases, possible complete numbness. Significant difficulty in breathing may be accompanied by narrowing of the glottis.
- A “barking” cough, from the inside a “fighting” throat, gradually turns into a “wet” one, with a coughing discharge that sometimes contains bloody inclusions.
- It hurts to swallow, to speak.
- Submandibular cervical lymph nodes grow in size, their palpation is quite painful.
Further development of the inflammatory process is accompanied by a deterioration of overall health:
- The temperature rises - from 37 0 at the beginning, to 40 0 in the case of severe forms.
- Patients complain of a sensation of coma in the throat, difficulty in breathing - for edematous forms.
- Choking (violation of swallowing) - with purulent forms (phlegmonous), with the development of abscesses.
In addition, in acute laryngitis, other signs of acute respiratory viral infection may also occur: general weakness, muscle pain, nasal congestion, runny nose. Chronic - signs of concomitant diseases.
The course of diagnostic measures is determined by the results of a preliminary examination and anamnesis.
At the stage of general examination of the larynx (laryngoscopy), the otolaryngologist draws attention to the color of the laryngeal mucosa, the degree of its swelling, the presence of discharge. Estimated mobility of the larynx, the size of the glottis, the presence of ulcers.
If necessary, additional laboratory and instrumental examinations are prescribed:
- complete blood count - for the presence of inflammatory changes;
- urinalysis - signs of inflammatory diseases in the body;
- bacteriological studies of expectorated sputum or upper respiratory tracts;
- polymerase chain reaction in the collected materials.
At the same time, a differential diagnosis is made to determine the form of laryngitis according to its etiology: professional, syphilitic, tuberculosis. For example, in children, a false croup is differentiated with laryngeal papillomatosis, a pharyngeal abscess, with “true croup” (diphtheria), and a foreign body.
The choice of methods and the course of therapeutic measures is determined depending on the degree of prevalence of inflammatory processes and their etiology. It can be done on an outpatient basis by a general practitioner or an otolaryngologist. The general scheme of treatment:
- the elimination of possible causes - reducing the load on the larynx and vocal cords (silence);
- the exclusion of food, irritating mucous - carbonated drinks, salty, spicy dishes;
- complete cessation of smoking, taking alcoholic beverages, including beer, alcoholic cocktails;
- Abundant warm drink - teas, infusions, decoctions, milk, jellies, juices.
In case of viral etiology of OL, antibacterial drugs are additionally used. At the same time, it is possible for the doctor to prescribe antitussive drugs, as well as drugs that dilute difficult expectoration of sputum. In fever, bed restraint is recommended and antipyretic agents are prescribed.
In the treatment of all forms of laryngitis have:
- inhalation with plant or weakly alkaline solutions;
- various heat treatments - dry and wet warming compresses.
Antiallergic, decongestants are also prescribed. All medical drugs are purchased only after consulting with your doctor. Surgical methods are used for laryngeal abscesses, as well as for the elimination of foci of hyperplasia in order to prevent the development of cancer.
Treatment of acute laryngitis or exacerbation of the chronic form usually takes 5–10 days. It is rarely possible to completely cure the chronic form of laryngitis - it is a long and laborious process, often complicated by the inability to eliminate the underlying disease. But compliance with the recommendations of the doctor makes it possible to achieve stable remission.
Laryngitis and pregnancy
Pregnant women do not always manage to avoid diseases, including acute respiratory viral infections, influenza and laryngitis accompanying them. Viruses can be “delivered” to the expectant mother from outside by family members or attack her from the inside at any “favorable” moment - cooling, exacerbation of an already existing chronic disease, hormonal disorders.
Of particular danger during pregnancy are laryngitis of an infectious nature that can penetrate the placenta, which can cause various complications of the course of pregnancy, up to its termination. The presence in the body of a future mother of a viral infection may complicate childbirth.
In addition, pregnant women are contraindicated for most thermal procedures and chemicals, the use of which is necessary for the treatment of all forms of laryngitis, their consequences, as well as major or associated diseases. The future mother should be very attentive to her health and at the slightest sign of inflammatory processes in the throat, contact an otolaryngologist. The choice of treatment regimen and drugs is determined not only by the form of laryngitis, but also according to the peculiarities of the course of pregnancy.
Laryngitis in children
In children under 3 years of age, stenosing laryngitis (false croup) is more common. It is characterized by:
- inflammatory swelling of the laryngeal mucosa;
- obstruction of her lumen with sputum;
- reflex spasms.
The attack often begins suddenly at night. There are 4 severity of the disease:
- I (compensated) - the child is worried, breathes loudly, he has a "barking" cough.
- II - characterized by constant shortness of breath, simultaneously observed cyanosis (blue) nasolabial triangle.
- III (decompensated) - a sick baby rushes about, gets scared, a cold sticky sweat appears on the pale cyanotic skin. Heart sounds are deaf, pulse is frequent.
- IV (asphyxiation) - in vain trying to inhale the air with an open mouth, the child throws back his head. Cyanosis is rapidly increasing, seizures may occur. Breathing gradually stops, heart tones become duller and it stops.
Complications of laryngitis
One of the most common complications of OL is its transition to the chronic form. Often a recurring disease can cause a complete loss of voice, which for representatives of the "vocal" professions is accompanied by loss of working ability.
Doctors warn of the following complications of laryngitis, a truly life-threatening patient:
- epiglottis infiltration;
- laryngeal stenosis;
Prevention of laryngitis
The main prophylactic of all forms of laryngitis is hardening, strengthening immunity and following the simple rules of a healthy lifestyle (HLS):
- avoiding bad habits - smoking, drinking alcohol;
- compliance with standard hygienic rules - wash hands, use personal respiratory protection (gauze masks, respirators) during epidemics of infectious diseases, in case of a long stay in a polluted environment;
- regular holding in the premises of wet cleaning.
It is recommended to avoid talking in the cold, as well as in hot steam rooms and in other aggressive environments.
You should especially carefully monitor the state of your health for people whose professional activity is related to the loads on the vocal cords: singers, teachers, readers, dispatchers, speakers.
Systematic cleaning of the mucous throat with the help of inhalations from accumulations of particles of dirt and dust and its regular softening, for example, with oils, are very useful.
It is necessary to take timely measures to eliminate any foci of infection and inflammation in the body, including caries.
Any painful condition: sore throat, hoarseness, cough that does not stop for 5 days should be a reason for going to the doctor.
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