Poorly named “aphonia”, dysphonia is a voice disorder that can be caused by a variety of factors. Learn about the various causes and remedies for dysphonia in the following article.
Types and Causes of Dysphonias
There are two typologies of dysphonias: functional and organic. The former arises from a complication in the larynx, from nodules, polyps, cysts, edemas, or ulcers, or due to problems of inhibition, spasms, psychiatric issues, etc.
Among the most common causes of dsyphonia, we would like to highlight:
- Chronic laryngitis: due to tobacco, prolonged cough, inhaled medications, non-breathable environments, respiratory infections.
- Acute laryngitis: related to the most frequently-occurring respiratory problems.
- Lesions on the vocal cords (benign): Reinke’s edema (common in women, due to the abuse of the voice and tobacco use), nodules (psychological factor, allergies, infections, or reflux), and polyps (smoking, reflux, or abuse of the voice).
- Neurological dysfunction: many illnesses can provoke a bilateral or unilateral paralysis of the vocal cords, such as Parkison’s, lupus, arthritis, or multiple sclerosis.
- Systemic disease: hypothyroidism, lupus, or autoimmune disease.
- Malignant lesions: larynx cancer from alchoholism or tobacco use.
What are the Best Natural Remedies For Dysphonia?
- Drink zuchinni or borage broth, both of which are rich in mucilages that soften mucous.
- Grind an onion and two tablespoons of honey in the blender. Strain, and drink three tablespoons a day.
- Boil one cup of water and add the juice of one lemon. Prepare warm gargles with this mixutre twice a day.
- Boil one cup of water and a teaspoon of plantain. Let cool and make gargles.
- Make gargles several times a day from a tablespoon of sea salt mixed with a cup of hot water.
- Fill a sink with boiling water. Place your face over it, with a towel over your head, so you can breathe in the vapor through your nose.
- Cut two large leeks and boil them for 20 minutes in 4 1/2 cups of water (1 liter). Strain like a broth and drink several times a day.
- Extract the juice of one lemon and mix it with half a cup of water and half a teaspoon of baking soda. Drink once a day.
- Boil 1 and 1/2 large carrots for 10 minutes in 4 1/2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Cut into rounds and press. Mix with one tablespoon of honey and consume daily.
- Make gargles from infusions resulting from boiling an onion bulb with one cup of milk (cook for 10 minutes).
- Mix one cup of boiling water with a tablespoon of rosemary. Cover and let cool. Gargle several times a day.
- Drink an infusion of mandarin (with one fruit per cup of water).
- Prepare a tea of 1 tablespoon eucalyptus leaves per cup of boiling water. Let it cool covered. Strain and gargle as many times as necessary.
- Boil 4 1/2 cups of water with a handful of clove, 1 tablespoon of honey, and the juice of one lemon for 10 minutes. Drink warm before going to bed.
- Boil 2 1/4 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of barley for 15 minutes. Strain and add a tablespoon of honey. Gargle at least three times a day.
- Wash uncooked cabbage leaves and add lemon juice and olive oil. Eat at noon and at night.
Tips to Avoid Dysphonia
In order to avoid this problem, you should consider the following advice:
- Avoid noisy environments. When one must raise her voice to be heard, the vocal cords are being damaged. For example, in concerts, crowded restaurants, means of transportation, a busy street, etc., if you add smog, pollution, cigarettes, and alcohol, the picture worsens.
- Do not talk over your capabilities. You have a resistence capacity to speak according to your characteristics and vocal training. Do not go over your limits by shouting, sing in a really loud voice, etc. Each day, a person can speak for a total of 4 hours and sing for 2.
- Properly use your vocal resources. That means that you remember to breathe before you speak, not get irritated, not raise your voice if you do, etc.
- Do not smoke. Cigarettes are bad, any way you look at them. In relation to dysphonia, it causes irritation and dryness as they are made from toxic substances.
- Keep well hydrated. Keep in mind that your vocal cords should be well moistened, by at least 2 liters of water each day. Avoid alcohol and coffee, as they reduce the lubrication needed. A dry environment complicates the situation, as do some medications (such as antihistamines or antidepressants).
- Sleep enough and avoid screaming. Having at least 6 hours of sleep per day can avoid voice fatigue and reduce the possibilities of suffering dysphonia or other lesions. Screaming can lead to the appearance of nodules.
- Avoid clearing the throat with force. To do so, first breathe deeply, hold breathe for several seconds and then exhale quickly.