On Monday night I came down with a fever and severe sore throat, and I have been struggling to get well ever since. I missed 3 days of school, which is extremely frustrating, especially in a 4-day week (thanks to Veteran's Day) and spent 4 days in bed. On Saturday I returned to the world of the busy, and don't feel as sick anymore, but unfortunately I now have a big old case of laryngitis. My voice sounds quite odd, and I'm not sure how I'm going to control a classroom tomorrow. One trick I'm going to try is writing common phrases, such as "Turn to page (list of numbers)" and "Be quiet NOW!" on the board, and pointing to them when appropriate.
I'm doing my best to get better as fast as possible, especially since I have an important set of concerts coming up next weekend. Here is all the advice I've gotten so far, much of it from singing friends. Got anything to add?
If you have pharyngitis (the part of your throat at the back of your mouth) use a numbing throat spray, gargle warm salt water, or try a Neti Pot, which helps take care of the post-nasal drip problem. Most of the suggestions below will also help.
If you have laryngitis (the sign of laryngitis is a low, scratchy, breathy voice, sometimes a complete loss of voice) then do any and all of the following:
- Vocal rest, vocal rest, vocal rest. No speaking, no singing, and definitely no whispering. Humming or speaking gently is permissible, but silence is better.
- Suck on lozenges. Don't use lozenges with menthol, as these will dry out your throat. Chewing gum also has the same positive effect, since, as my mother informs me, "Saliva has the proper ph to kill viruses and bacteria (and also acts as an antacid in the stomach.)"
- Don't take blood-thinning medications like ibuprofin or aspirin--stick to tylenol. It is good to take tylenol, however, as this will make swallowing less painful and make you more likely to...
- Drink lots of fluids. Juice, water, etc.
- Drink slippery elm-bark tea.
- Drink tea with honey.
- Eat soup! Chicken noodle soup is always good.
- Fill a sink with hot water, put your face down next to it, and put a towel over your head. Stay like that for as long as you can stand - breathing in the steam will help your throat.
- Use a humidifier.
- Finally, my mother recommends gargling with H2O2 (2 parts to 1 part water) but since you can't swallow this, it makes me nervous, as I lack proper gargling skills.