When winter arrives, the cold and flu season begins , and drastic changes in temperature can wreak havoc on health, affecting, above all, the well-being of the respiratory tract. The throat is one of the areas most affected by climate change, being able to present irritation, burning, inflammation, pain and, as a consequence, aphonia.
Aphonia is the total or partial loss of the voice caused by excessive use of the vocal cords, respiratory conditions such as pharyngitis and laryngitis, allergies and respiratory changes, among other factors. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent and treat voice loss, for this reason in eHealth we share with you the best home remedies for aphonia and some tips to take care of your vocal cords.
What is aphonia?
To understand what aphonia is, we must understand how the voice is produced. In the larynx there are sensitive cartilages that help support the vocal cords, which are nothing more than muscles that have a V shape. For the voice to be produced, the vocal cords lengthen or contract as it enters or leaves. air from the lungs, this process causes a vibration that resonates in the larynx and produces the sound we know as our voice.
When the vocal cords are affected by a problem, the vibration produced by the voice is defective and causes the sound to undergo variations such as a staccato voice, hoarseness, high-pitched or raspy voice; This condition is known as dysphonia. When dysphonia worsens and is not treated properly, aphonia can occur, which is the total or partial loss of the voice due to external factors or respiratory diseases that have affected the correct functioning of the larynx and vocal cords.
Is aphonia dangerous? Depends. To determine the complexity of aphonia, it is necessary to know its cause and take into account the person’s lifestyle, since it is common for a singer to suffer more aphonia in his life than a person who does not work with his voice.
Main causes of aphonia
Hoarseness is a condition that can be caused by various factors. A person can become hoarse after attending a concert where they shouted a lot while singing, but they can also become hoarse due to a drastic decrease in temperature, tobacco consumption, respiratory infections, viral diseases or any other agent that can hurt the pharynx and vocal cords. That said, let’s know the main causes of aphonia:
Viruses are responsible for the major seasonal illnesses and cause approximately 80% of pharyngitis in children and adults. Due to its easy spread, it is very difficult to pass unharmed by a temporary virus that is affecting the community where we live. Rhinovirus, Coronavirus, Adenovirus and Influenzavirus are the agents responsible for colds and flu, conditions that significantly affect the pharynx, and can cause hoarseness if the person is not treated properly and does not rest.
Bacteria are everywhere! For this reason, a large part of pharyngitis or laryngitis is caused by bacteria that lodge in the respiratory tract and inflame and infect the mucosa. These conditions can affect breathing and the proper functioning of the vocal cords, impairing the vibration produced by the sound of the voice. Bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis and tonsillitis with bacterial diseases that can cause aphonia.
Other conditions: nodules, cysts, polyps, or Reinke’s edema, a collection of fluid that causes inflammation of the vocal cords.
The weather, a major enemy
Hoarseness can occur due to major weather changes. When temperatures change abruptly, the throat can become sore and have inflammation or irritation, symptoms that can cause temporary aphonia. This can happen both due to cold temperatures and hot temperatures, the ideal is to wrap the throat area well during the winter and take care of the temperature of the food and beverages that we eat, avoiding that they are either very hot or very cold.
Other agents that can cause aphonia:
- Tobacco use.
- Alcoholic drinks.
- Heating and air conditioning.
- Overuse of the vocal cords.
- Going outside with wet hair in winter.
- Drink very hot or cold drinks.
- Environmental pollution.
- Some medications
What is the treatment of aphonia?
There are people who become hoarse every time they get the flu, there are others who experience hoarseness as a sudden and persistent event that leaves them speechless for no apparent reason. This last group should consider the loss of voice as an important reason to go to the doctor, since most people who tend to suffer from aphonia know that it is a temporary symptom of some temporary discomfort.
That said, we can highlight that there is no specific treatment for aphonia, since this condition is usually a symptom of another condition, therefore, the ideal is to address the cause so that the person can recover their voice. In the case of viral diseases, the consumption of painkillers can help to improve the inflammation of the pharynx and once the sore throat passes, the voice should recover.
When aphonia is caused by bacterial diseases, it will be necessary to take antibiotics to kill the pathogens that are affecting health. Once the treatment is started, the person should notice that the symptoms improve and that the aphonia disappears.
Depending on the condition that is causing the loss of voice, the doctor may or may not prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs. If the aphonia persists for more than two weeks and there is no other discomfort, it is important to see the doctor for a more thorough check-up of the pharynx and vocal cords.
Home remedies for aphonia
Hoarseness can be alleviated with the use of some home solutions that, although they are affective, should not replace any medical treatment. Here we share the best home remedies for aphonia:
Chamomile to calm hoarseness
Chamomile has many benefits that go beyond relieving stomach pain. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of this plant help to improve inflammation and irritation of the pharynx to offer a sensation of relief and sedation to pain. Once the pharynx is deflated, the vocal cords can contract more easily. The ideal is to drink two cups of chamomile infusion, one during the day and one before going to sleep, you will see that you wake up with a little more voice!
Say goodbye to aphonia with ginger
The ginger is one of the best home remedies for hoarseness due to analgesic and antiseptic, anti – inflammatory to help relieve inflammation and pain while fighting the bacteria that may be causing an infection in the pharynx. For its effect to be more effective, we suggest you prepare an infusion of ginger root with honey and lemon.
Propolis does work
Propolis is a plant that acts as a natural antibiotic to eliminate bacteria and infections quickly. Most importantly, propolis is especially recommended for treating throat conditions, as it offers relief from throat irritation and inflammation. Ideally, you should prepare a hot infusion with propolis and ingest it twice a day. You can get sachets of propolis infusion in herbal stores, an easier way to use this silver for aphonia.
Honey, lemon and olive oil for your voice
The mixture of these three ingredients results in a magical formula that helps treat many conditions and is without a doubt one of the best home remedies for aphonia. While honey and lemon help relieve discomfort and kill bacteria, olive oil acts as a pain reliever that hydrates and repairs cellular tissue. Mix a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of olive oil and the juice of a lemon in a cup and drink three tablespoons a day.
Licorice, a gift from nature
This plant has many health properties, but it is its anti-inflammatory and expectorant effect that makes it one of the best home solutions for aphonia, especially if the symptom is caused by a respiratory infection. To take advantage of the benefits of licorice you should drink a cup of infusion twice a day.
There are those who believe that bicarbonate cures everything, we cannot say that this is the case, but we can assure you that it relieves hoarseness. Baking soda has antibacterial properties that help eliminate any agent that may be affecting or infecting the pharynx. We suggest you mix a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water and gargle with the prepared solution. This home remedy is very effective in treating throat discomfort caused by pharyngitis, tonsillitis or laryngitis.
Infusion of honey and onion to recover the voice
Treat aphonia naturally by preparing an infusion with onion and honey. While honey helps soothe irritation and hydrates the throat, onion has an expectorant and antibiotic effect that will allow you to heal the symptoms of any infection in the larynx. Drink two cups a day and see for yourself that this is by far one of the best home remedies for hoarseness.
Recommendations to take care of your voice, and your throat too
Treating aphonia is as important as preventing pharyngeal conditions that can cause this symptom. For this reason we share with you some recommendations that will allow you to take care of your voice and prevent aphonia:
- Avoid engaging in long conversations in very noisy environments.
- Get rid of the vice of smoking.
- If you are already hoarse, avoid crying to prevent the loss of voice from being total.
- Hydrate properly, at least 2 liters of water you should consume daily.
- Avoid being exposed to air conditioning or heating for a long time.
- In winter, do not go out with wet hair and warm your neck well.
- Avoid clearing your throat, this can further hurt your vocal cords.
- Seek medical help to stop snoring while you sleep.
- Avoid eating very spicy or excessively hot foods.
- Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and water several times a day to prevent infections and viral illnesses.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.