The larynx is the upper portion of the trachea (pronounced TRAY-keeuh), or windpipe. When a person breathes in, air passes into the nose or mouth. It then travels down the trachea into the lungs. The larynx also contains the vocal cords, used in making sounds. When air passes over the vocal cords, it causes them to vibrate. That vibration produces sound.
A common disorder, laryngitis is acute or chronic inflammation of the vocal cords and is characterized by hoarseness. Acute laryngitis may occur as an isolated infection or as part of a generalized bacterial or viral upper respiratory tract infection. Repeated attacks of acute laryngitis cause inflammatory changes associated with chronic laryngitis.
Laryngitis is defined as an inflammation of larynx (voice box) due to overuse, irritation or infection generally associated with hoarseness or loss of voice. The larynx is the part of voice. When speaking, two membranes in the larynx – the vocal cords – vibrate to produce sound. It is a structure for supporting the cartilage, muscles and mucous membranes that forms the entrance of windpipe.
Laryngitis is an inflammation in the vocal cords in the larynx, has many causes. The larnyx is the organ of voice in mammals. It is commonly known as the voice box. Laryngitis is rarely serious. It usually last less than 7 days. The larynx is a tubular chamber about 2 inches (5 cm) high. It consists of walls of cartilage bound by ligaments and membranes, and moved by muscles.
Chronic laryngitis is often due to constant irritation, for instance it may affect smokers and people who use their voice a great deal. It can also be caused by persistent acute laryngitis that has not been properly treated. A continual or recurring hoarse voice should be checked by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist so that the exact cause can be determined.
In laryngitis, the thin, fragile mucous membranes of the vocal cords become inflamed and swell up. When there is swelling and irritation of the vocal cords, the voice becomes deeper and then often lower. In some cases, though more uncommon, the voice can be lost completely. Sometimes, but not always, depending on the cause of the laryngitis, besides the raspy or hoarse voice, there are cold or flu-like symptoms. Laryngitis can also be a symptom itself, of bronchitis, pneumonia, or the flu. It is because these infections cause you to cough, which inflames and swells the vocal cords.
Symptoms are usually temporary unless there is another underlying problem. If your symptoms also include severe pain, difficulty swallowing, coughing up blood, or a noticeable lump in your neck, you should see a doctor right away. A child who has severe pain, drooling, and difficulty breathing may have epiglottitis, a serious condition that requires emergency care. Adults also get epiglottitis, but it is more common in children.
Spongia is the great homoeopathic croup remedy, but it always comes in after Aconite. The breathing is harsh, sawing and hard as if the patient were breathing through a sponge. Hard barking ringing cough with scanty expectoration; in fact, it seems to get tighter and tighter every minute and almost threatens suffocation. It is worse before midnight, and it is especially well indicated in light complexioned children with blue eyes. It corresponds more closely to the spasmodic form of croup than to the membranous.