BY ROSA PRESTON
Some of you, probably not a lot of you, or even any of you may have noticed I was gone for a few days last week. Well, that’s because I was sick. AND NO, NOT with Covid! If it was that, I would probably not be writing this. No, it was something a little less common and just as irritating, considering I’m a big talker. I had laryngeal inflammation, or as it’s more commonly known as, laryngitis.
Laryngitis is pretty common, which I’m sure many are familiar with, but here’s a quick refresher. It’s an inflammation of the voice box from irritation, or as some choir kids may know, from overuse. But while talking too much isn’t contagious, germs are, which is one way laryngitis is spread since it’s viral. And as some may know, as well as a sore throat and loss of voice, it’s often also accompanied by its unpleasant symptoms, which are similar to a cold. Linda Mann, the choir accompanist who’s had laryngitis before, said, “I couldn’t talk, my voice just wouldn’t work, and sometimes I think it’s because I had a cold, but usually I think it’s because I have a sinus infection.”
But often enough, if it’s not accompanied by a fever or much coughing, or it’s just from overusing your voice, you may still have to attend school. This is a bit of a struggle for choir kids, anyone who must present during or for class, or if you’re a teacher, teaching the class may be a struggle as well. It’s not a very fun experience according to Mann, who claims, “I still felt well enough to do physical activities, but I had to inherently whisper or write things down.” And it’s definitely not easy if you’re a choir kid. The day before I was confined to my house, I noticed that I couldn’t hit the high notes I usually could, which was a problem since I’m a soprano, and near the end of the day, my voice had a terrible rasp and my throat began to hurt.
As I’ve said, laryngitis is not a fun experience for anyone. Luckily, other than resting your voice, there are other ways to treat it at home. Simple things like rest, warm tea with honey, or soup work well, but there are other interesting ways of relieving those “glamorous” symptoms. Studies show that inhaling steam can help clear sinuses, so taking a hot shower or running the sink on hot water can work wonders. Although there are some don’ts of treating it. The school nurse, Amanda McClafferdy, said, “I’d take throat lozenges, such as cough drops, plenty of fluids, and avoid decongestants, because that can dry out your throat and cause irritation. Acute laryngitis would require medical help because they may put you on antibiotics.”
But really, the best treatment is just to not talk and rest your voice. And on that note, I just have one more thing to say: BE QUIET!