One of the most feared ailments by all those who live by their voice, singers, teachers, speakers, etc., but also an evil that stalks all smokers. It is Reinke’s Edema, a condition that will make our voice change, that annoying carraspera appear and the noises when breathing. What is Reinke’s Edema, why does it occur or how do I treat it? , We will answer these and other questions in this blog that we have called Reinke Edema Treatment.
What is Reinke’s Edema
It is a lesion produced by the accumulation of gelatinous fluids, mucoids, within the space of Reinke, under the mucous cover of the vocal cords. The Reinke space is the subepithelial space that exists between the epithelium membrane at the level of the glottis and the vocal ligament.
This inflammation, most often, is produced by the abuse of both vocal cords, such as excessive consumption of snuff . Also it appears to be related to other conditions such as the hypothyroidism and gastroesophageal reflux.
This is called edema Reinke, in honor of Dr. Reinke, who in 1897 specified the location of edema, thus giving the name to the space in question and the disease itself. Other names which are known hypertrophic chronic laryngitis edematous or pseudomixomatosa, polypoid degeneration or chorditis, fibromyxoma or diffuse bilateral polyposis.
Reinke’s edema affects people of both sexes and is usually bilateral , ie inflammation occurs in both vocal cords, rarely seen on a single vocal cord.
Reinke’s edema is a benign lesion of the bilateral and asymmetric larynx that affects the entire length of the vocal cord.
When Reinke’s edema occurs
Reinke’s edema affects both males and females although it has been reported to have a higher incidence after age 40 in men than females.
The edema causes an overload in the vocal folds, and this will cause a decrease in the fundamental frequency , called Fo , of the voice. This decrease is caused because the vibration that occurs in the vocal cords is smaller, because they are inflamed and this limits the normal movements that would have healthy vocal cords, that is to say, the number of vibrations per second, descend.
The exact cause of this edema is unknown although it has been observed that it is frequent among a population group with certain characteristics and these are:
Smoking. People who abuse tobacco and even alcohol.
Misuse of voice: Above all it affects singers, announcers teachers, salesmen and all those people who live from their voice, where to force it is very frequent and much more to force it and to keep it forced for a long time.
- Allergic reactions.
- Chronic sinusitis
This inflammation affects the quality of the voice. When Reinke’s edema is affected, the tone of the voice drops regardless of whether it is male or female, this change does not occur suddenly but gradually, so the patient will not know when he noticed that his voice changed.
Symptomatology of Reinke’s edema
The evolution of the disease is long, the voice is shortened tonally as it is transformed into a more serious tone, so that the vocal tone low, affecting mainly the singers and women since the serious tone of the voice, the Makes a voice much more masculine and very characteristic.
This change of voice is due to increased mass or thickening of the vocal cords. This alteration in the singers precludes the emission of high frequencies, the famous falsetas. This voice change is called Dysphonia.
Reinke’s edema may be the most noticeable change, but it is not the only symptom. In some cases this inflammation can cause an obstruction to breathe, preventing air to reach the lungs, this obstruction will improve with the administration of corticosteroids.
Cough and hoarseness is another characteristic symptom of Reinke’s edema, possibly produced by subglottic pressure, by the effort to speak, or by vocal fatigue.
How To Prevent Reinke’s Edema
To start the affected person should definitely stop smoking and start with vocal therapy. Vocal exercises should be performed with a professional such as a speech therapist or speech therapist to improve the affected area and end up with a serious and hoarse voice, recovering a voice with much more quality.
The Vocal Therapy will be a rehabilitating work through a selection of specific vocal exercises aimed at modifying vocal habits. It can be used to initiate the reeducación logopédica and with the help of a professional. The patient will have indications on the care of the personalized voice and adapted to their daily vocal habits, to turn them into their new lifestyle.
Some patients need therapy before surgery and after surgery. During the process the therapy will help the patient to reconstruct certain learning that has been incorpo- rated wrongly during the illness with the aim of recovering and improving the reduced vocal function by the presence of the corporal edema.
However, there are a number of recommendations that will help us to improve our condition and these are:
Avoid excessive ambient noise: Avoid the places where you are forced to raise the voice, in this way the vocal cords will not be damaged. Concerts, busy restaurants, nightclubs, etc.
Do not speak beyond your possibilities: From now on, let others be the ones who make the effort to listen to you, do not force the voice, do not exceed your limits and do not shout, do not sing and do not speak out loud.
Use your vocal resources well: Breathe well before speaking, do not get angry so you do not raise your voice, etc.
Do not smoke: Smoking damages the organism in general and vocal cords in particular. In relation to dysphonia, causes irritation, we should not forget that tobacco has a toxic formulation.
Maintain a good hydration: Drinking water is essential for a good hydration of the vocal cords, 2 liters is recommended. When we say water, we mean any liquid that hydrates alcohol and coffee.
Avoid dry environments: Dry environments do not benefit the vocal cords at all, so we recommend a humidifier in case of living in places where humidity is low.
Medications: Medications like antihistamines or antidepressants will also cause dryness in the throat.
Get enough sleep and avoid shouting: In sleep we will keep our vocal cords relaxed, so sleeping a minimum of 7 hours will be beneficial for our organism and our throat. The screams, if you already suffer from Reinke’s edema, the only thing that can bring you is the appearance of nodules.
Avoid clearing the throat or coughing with force: The typical blows that we give with the closed mouth, like to detach something that we have in the throat are counterproductive if we undergo an edema, it will be better to breathe deeply, to maintain the breathing and soon to expel the air quickly.
Reinke edema natural treatment
As for everything there are always remedies that in a natural way will help us to improve in our ailments and more concretely in Reinke’s edema. We leave you some TIPS, which will be very helpful.
Drink broths of zucchini or borage, two vegetables rich in mucilages that soften the mucous, by its gelatinous pseudodisolution.
Onion: Grinding well an onion, better in a blender, add two tablespoons of honey, we sieve and drink the equivalent of 3 tablespoons throughout the day.
Gargles with lemon: Boil a cup of water and add the juice of 1 lemon. With this preparation we can gargle warm at least twice a day.
Gargle with plantain: Boil one cup of water and add a tablespoon of plantain, let it cool and ready to gargle.
Gargles with salt: You can gargle several times a day by mixing in a cup of hot water, a tablespoon of fat salt.
Thyme infusion: In a cup of boiling water add a tablespoon of thyme. Leave for 10 minutes standing and add the juice of 1/2 lemon plus a teaspoon of honey. He drinks like a tea.
Pineapple juice or pineapple slices: For the properties of the pineapple, it will be an indispensable aid to revitalize the tissues of both the larynx and the vocal cords.
Make steam: We fill a large bowl with boiling water, put the face as close as possible to the water covered by a towel, and now try to breathe through the nose steam.
Leek broth: With two well-cut leeks, we put them to boil for 20 minutes in approximately 1 liter of water. Strain the broth and drink it throughout the day.
Preparation of bicarbonate: The juice is extracted from a lemon and we pour it into half a cup of water, add half a spoonful of baking soda, mix well and drink.
Broth of carrots: Cut 200 g of carrots and boil them in 1 liter of water for 10 minutes. We add a spoonful of honey and we consume it.
Reinke Edema – Operation
Surgery should be the last treatment option and for more severe cases where there may be respiratory difficulties or to improve vocal quality. This operation is not particularly complex and consists of removing the surplus material and tissues.