2011 -- what did I ever do to you?
January 7, 2011 7:46 AM   Subscribe

OTC remedies for what seems like a bout of laryngitis?

2011 has thus far been a cruel year for me. The 2nd day of the New Year I threw my back out and have rested for most of the week. Somewhere during the five days of back-resting I was noticing a terrible scratchiness and soreness in the back of my throat. Well, the back's all better and now the throat....the effing throat is super hurty. My nose is stuffed up, it hurts to swallow, there is a cough and TMI, I feel as though I am producing more saliva than usual. Interwebs searching has led me to a potential diagnosis of laryngitis and if so, what OTC remedies I can use to treat it?

YANMD, yes, but I want to see if it will clear up on its own over the weekend and if not, I will have to sit for a very long time in a Quebec clinic (no family doctor here, no sir!) and there you go.

Please, hivemind, make this young year stop kicking me in the ladybits!
posted by Kitteh to Health & Fitness (13 answers total)
Hot tea and hot showers, lots of fluids in general. (Personally I wouldn't bother going to a doctor at all unless it lasts an usually long time or is extremely severe, they can't really do anything to treat the common cold.)
posted by phoenixy at 7:59 AM on January 7, 2011

don't forget the honey in that hot tea! super super healing!

or you can try my russian childhood standbye, the old "goh-gle, moh-gle", raw egg mixed with cocoa and sugar. get well soon!
posted by anya32 at 8:05 AM on January 7, 2011

Saline spray/nasal irrigation would be of help.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:24 AM on January 7, 2011

Hot teas and honey of course. Hot soups. Lozenges. Keep that throat moist. I mix natural peanut butter (get some of those oils in there) with honey. It's soothing.
posted by jerseygirl at 8:24 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Gargle with warm salt water as often as you can. I find that a quarter teaspoon of salt for each 8 oz of water works really well. Gargling always seems like it should be just a step above leeches in terms of usefulness, but it really does help...your throat feels a bit better almost immediately.
posted by corey flood at 8:26 AM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I swear by Perrier and Orange Juice whenever my throat is bothering me. I'll usually go half juice half Perrier but if my throat is really bad I'll go 1/4 juice to 3/4 Perrier or just straight Perrier.

The Perrier cuts through the gunk in my throat like Draino to a blocked sink and I think the minerals are supposed to be good for me too. I just know that the combination of the Vitamin C and acids in the O.J. mixed with the bubbles in the Perrier (and yes it has to be Perrier, no other mineral water works as well) works like nothing else.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:39 AM on January 7, 2011

When I have laryngitis, I alternate between hot peppermint tea with honey and citrus drinks (usually grapefruit juice). Also, gargling with hot salt water.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:42 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

I healed a recent laryngitis attack with lots and lots of hot tea, avoiding alcohol, salt water gargles, cough drops and silence. I think the overall solution is to keep yourself hydrated, inhale moist air (a humidifier could be helpful), consume things that make you feel soothed (honey, tea, soup, etc) and don't strain your vocal chords or irritate your throat. Try to avoid clearing your throat a lot, so hard candy or cough drops could help with that.

Get well!
posted by annaramma at 8:47 AM on January 7, 2011

I agree with corey flood, and so does the Mayo Clinic. It's kind of gross, but it works wonders.
posted by mmmbacon at 8:48 AM on January 7, 2011

We're over the hump of Daughter Shmoobles bringing every known disease home from preschool. I had laryngitis and chronic bronchitis for months and months out of the last few years. Even a mild cold would re-agitate my throat symptoms.
I tried Arum Triphyllum, a homeopathic remedy and benefited greatly from it.
posted by No Shmoobles at 9:02 AM on January 7, 2011

Response by poster: So far the gargling with warm salt water is proving to be more effective than I would have thought! And I am also employing a self-made tea of fresh ginger, honey and a dash of lemon.
posted by Kitteh at 10:09 AM on January 7, 2011

That you can take right now? Orange drinks. Even (especially!) orange soda. I don't know why, but there's something about drinking orange liquid that seems to help me.

That you should try to order online for the future? This is the one flat-out CURE for laryngitis that I have ever heard of, which I found out about when I had to do an interview at a hippie store when I was coming down with a case of it. Friar's balsam. If you start taking it when laryngitis comes on, it'll go away within 24 hours. (Takes longer if you're unable to do it that quickly, but still works. More like 48 hours then though.) I say "order online" because I haven't the faintest idea what hippie/natural food stores are in your area, and not all of them carry it. But if you can get ahold of the stuff, it works wonders. I pimp it to everyone because if you talk to a medical professional, they tend to be all, "Nothing helps laryngitis, you're just gonna have to sit around silent for days."
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:42 PM on January 7, 2011

This doesn't change anything anyone's said, because most sore throats are sore throats and behave similarly, but I just thought I'd point out that you didn't describe the hallmark of laryngitis (literally: inflammation of the larynx) - hoarse voice or losing your voice.

The symptoms you describe having could be caused by any garden variety upper respiratory infection/virus, like the common cold.

I like Chloraseptic spray and Ricola/mentholated drops for sore throats, along with some of the things that other folks are suggesting. For the congestion, you want a Sudafed-like cold medication. Also, taking some Tylenol or ibuprofen can help as well - a lot of the OTC cold medications have some Tylenol/acetaminophen in them so be careful if you're taking multiple medications.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 9:43 PM on January 7, 2011

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