Your team have a close game last weekend? Maybe that cold last week is to blame? Whatever the reason for your scratchy, hushed voice – you’re not alone. People all over Central Florida were seeking the help of Centra Care doctors because of Laryngitis. Here are the locations with the biggest increases:
- Sanford & Winter Park: up 300%
- Azalea Park & Dr. Phillips: up 200%
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Laryngitis is swelling and irritation of the voice box (larynx) that is usually associated with hoarseness or loss of voice. The larynx is located at the top of the airway to the lungs and contains the vocal cords. When the vocal cords become inflamed or infected, they swell, causing hoarseness, and possibly blocking the airway.
The most common form of Laryngitis is an infection caused by a virus, such as cold or flu viruses. It may also be caused by:
- Bacterial Infection
- Irritants or Chemicals
- Swollen lymph nodes or glands in the neck
Signs and tests
A physical examination can determine whether hoarseness is caused by a respiratory tract infection.
Patients with hoarseness that lasts for more than a month (especially smokers) may need to see an otolaryngologist (ENT) for tests of the throat and upper airway.
Since Laryngitis is most commonly caused by a virus, antibiotics may not help. Your health care provider will make this decision.
You can help reduce the inflammation of the vocal cords by resting your voice. A humidifier may soothe the scratchy feeling that comes with laryngitis. Decongestants and painkillers may relieve the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.
SOURCE: National Institutes of Health
Every Centra Care location treats adult and pediatric patients without an appointment or you can make an Online Reservation at centracare.org. Flu shots are always just $30. If you or someone in your family needs a vaccination or suffers from an illness, allergy or injury that needs medical attention, Centra Care has over 30 locations, serving you 7-days a week.