The medical terminology for losing your voice (no voice, voiceless) is 'aphonia'. It is one of the most common symptoms of laryngitis, which is characterized by the inflammation of the voice box (larynx). The larynx consists of the vocal cords or folds. The diaphragm pushes the air in the lungs through the larynx, causing these folds to vibrate. The varying degrees of vibrations produce sound while talking. However, when the area near the throat or the larynx is inflamed or infected, the vibrations increase and result in aphonia.
- Sore throat is accompanied by croaky or hoarse voice
- Tumor formation in the lungs/airways
- Certain psychological/emotional reasons
- Cold, viral, bacterial infection, exposure to tobacco fumes, or harsh chemicals (if the throat is highly sensitive)
Usually the condition of aphonia alleviates after some days. The best way to prevent aphonia is to reduce the chance of infection. Precautionary measures:
- Avoid contact with people infected with scratchy throat, sore throats, cough, and common cold.
- Avoid tobacco smoke inhalation.
- Keep yourself healthy and strong to increase the immunity of the body.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water (8 to 10 glasses) to keep your throat and mucous membrane moist.
These remedial measures will help you get your voice back.
- Try to talk less and give rest to your throat.
- You can purchase a vaporizer to humidify the air around you. Good quality vaporizers are available at the local pharmacy shops. Ensure that you clean them properly and read through the manufacturer's guide, before using them.
- Salt water gargles are the best for any throat-related problems. Alternatively, one tablespoon of salt added to one cup warm water, a pinch of salt in warm lime water juice, or vinegar mixed in water can also provide relief to the throat. It is advisable to gently gargle several times in a day without irritating the throat.
- The component Allicin present in garlic is proven to possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can prepare garlic soup and spruce it with herbs.
- Alternatively, herbal teas made of ginger, fenugreek, eucalyptus, horehound, and marshmallows are beneficial for soothing the throat and for regaining the voice.
- Another homemade option is to have honey mixed in warm water. Honey is an ayurvedic medicine, which is excellent for the throat and for a clear voice.
- Aphonia caused due to cold can best be cured by a steam bath or inhaling steam by leaning over a steam injector/a bowl of hot boiling water, from a safe distance. Ensure that you take the steam at least for 10 to 15 minutes and repeat this procedure a couple of times in a day.
The treatment measures are very easy to follow and do not require antibiotic medication. However, if you experience persistent throat pain, cough, permanent voice change, and fever, then you would need to consult the doctor. Aphonia is more of an inconvenience rather than a condition.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.