Chronic laryngitis prevalence rates in the US is around 3.5 cases for every 1000 of the population. While this may appear to be low in terms of percentage, laryngitis accounts for 16.6% of the more than 839,000 cases of voice related issues among children. With the relatively high prevalence in terms of numbers, it is important to look at common remedies used for managing the condition. This article will provide insights on popular beliefs and address the most common question – is honey good for laryngitis?
What is laryngitis and is honey good for laryngitis?
Laryngitis is a condition that affects the throat, caused by an inflammation of the larynx, commonly known as the voice box. The inflammation is caused either by an infection, overuse or some kind of irritation. Laryngitis could be either acute or chronic in nature, and have clear symptoms that help in identifying the condition. While acute laryngitis typically resolves naturally without the need for medical intervention, chronic laryngitis requires a treatment regimen to resolve the underlying causes. It is now time to look at the question – is honey good for laryngitis?
How is laryngitis diagnosed and is honey good for laryngitis?
Diagnosis of laryngitis is relatively easy, and in most cases a simple examination and the history of the condition is all that is necessary to identify laryngitis. However, to determine if the condition is acute or chronic or if the condition turns persistent, it may be necessary to seek medical attention that includes the need for advanced diagnosis. Some of the commonly used techniques for diagnosing the condition include – laryngoscopy and biopsy. Laryngoscopy permits the specialist to visually examine the vocal cords. This is performed with the help of a mirror and light contraption that gives the specialist a view of the back of the throat of the patient. Advanced options include fiber-optic laryngoscopy which is effectively an endoscope. The miniature camera at the end of the thin flexible tube and the light transmits images from the back of the throat. The specialist typically observes the effort of the larynx while speaking, through the laryngoscope. Biopsy is performed to examine the tissue to determine the cause and the right medication for treating the condition. The specialist takes a sample of the tissue for a closer examination.
Methods used for treating laryngitis
Treatment method depends on the nature of the condition. It is not necessary to look for treatment options for acute laryngitis, as the condition is known to resolve naturally in a week. Simple care is all that is required for managing laryngitis. For instance, it is necessary to increase the fluid intake. Additionally, by increasing the moisture content in the air inside, residences/workplaces, it is possible to experience considerable relief from the condition. In the case of chronic laryngitis, treatment options may be necessary and this includes medications and/or home remedies. Before we look at the most frequently asked question – is honey good for laryngitis – it is necessary to look at medical treatments commonly used to understand the line of treatment and the management of the condition.
The purpose of treatment of chronic laryngitis is to resolve the underlying reasons that triggered laryngitis. For instance, chronic laryngitis is often attributed to smoking, heartburn and over indulgence when consuming alcohol. As a result of these conditions, the larynx gets inflamed. Laryngitis is typically caused by viral infections, and is therefore not generally treated by antibiotics. However, antibiotics are recommend by doctors, after evaluating the patient and assessing that the condition is the result of a bacterial infection. It is necessary to understand that self-medication and consumption of antibiotics for treating laryngitis is not a good idea.
An individual with the condition can either look at home remedies and wait till laryngitis naturally resolves, or seek medical attention. Use of antibiotics without a doctor’s recommendation will not fetch any outcomes if the condition is caused by viral infections. Specialists treating infants with the condition may, at times, prescribe corticosteroids. This is primarily to bring down the inflammation of the vocal cords in infants.
Properties of honey that make it useful for managing certain conditions
Honey has got distinct properties that deliver measurable results during treatment of specific conditions. Honey has been most commonly used through the ages across most geographies for as a natural remedy for multiple conditions. This is attributed to specific properties that include – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal and antidiabetic properties. As a consequence of this, honey is either used as the primary natural remedy or as a part of a natural remedy for treating various conditions. By virtue of its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties, honey is effective in helping treat laryngitis.
How is honey actually used for helping treat laryngitis?
Honey is typically mixed with hot water and consumed when patients suffer from laryngitis. Warm water has a soothing effect on the throat and in combination with honey which has proven anti-inflammatory action and anti-microbial properties, the pain and discomfort is considerably reduced. In addition to answering the question – is honey good for laryngitis? – the properties clearly indicate that honey has properties that offer relief from cough. As a cough suppressant, honey helps individuals overcome cough that is likely as a result of laryngitis.
The advantage of honey is the manner in which it can be combined with various substances to make it more palatable. For instance, individuals who prefer sweet substances, need not look at other ingredients. Similarly, individuals who do not like sweet, can easily add the honey to lemon juice to reduce the sweet taste. Honey can also be consumed along with tea in the event of a need for typical flavor. All that is required is two tablespoons of honey to be mixed with warm water or tea.
Which type of honey is suitable for treating laryngitis?
Now that the question – is honey good for laryngitis? – is answered, it is time to look at the specific types of honey that are more suitable for treating the condition. Honey is generally available in raw form or processed (pasteurized) honey. The purpose of pasteurization of honey is to increase the shelf life of the product, and to remove yeast from the honey. Additionally, due to the often lengthy supply chain/logistics process, honey undergoes crystallization. Pasteurization helps eliminate crystallization, making it more palatable for consumers. However, as a result of pasteurization, honey tends to lose its nutrient value significantly. While this may not impact its quality as an ingredient in food preparation, it certainly impacts the medicinal value of honey. It is therefore necessary to choose raw honey over pasteurized honey when procuring the same for treating any condition.
Simple home remedies that are used alongside honey for treating laryngitis
As can be seen from the answer to the question – is honey good for laryngitis – the viscous fluid produced by honey bees, is effective in managing the condition. However, it is also necessary to adopt additional measures to treat laryngitis if is it attributed to other underlying conditions. One of the causes of laryngitis is GERD, which is generally experienced through heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux disease refers to the reflux of stomach acid resulting in heartburn. The strong stomach acid burns the lining of the food pipe and causes irritation and inflammation in the throat. Consequently, GERD is one of the reasons for laryngitis. This is a chronic condition and requires treatment.
Honey is effective in handling the symptoms, but is important to bring in changes to ensure all round results. For instance, individuals need to change their eating habits and avoid large meal portions. The answer to the question – is honey good for laryngitis – clearly clarifies the benefits of honey. However, it is also necessary to bring in changes in the choice of food. For instance, individuals with GERD are required to stay away from caffeine, avoid all spicy food products, reduce or stop eating chocolate, and reduce the amount of spicy foods. This will help by offering considerable relief from GERD. Similarly, before going to sleep, it is important to ensure that there is adequate gap between food and hitting the bed. Individuals with the condition are advised to slightly increase the elevation of the head while sleeping. This will prevent the reflux from reaching the throat, thereby preventing the irritation and inflammation. The combination of these simple remedies alongside the consumption of honey will help to tackle the underlying condition while offering relief from laryngitis.
Other necessary changes in lifestyle include the need for avoiding smoking and consuming alcohol. Individuals in professions where it is necessary to continually exert the voice box are also likely to suffer from laryngitis as a result of over use. In such cases, it may be necessary to lower the strain on the larynx and allow the voice box to heal. This can be carried out alongside consumption of raw honey with warm water for a soothing effect and to cut down the inflammation.