Adam’s apple is the lump at the front of your throat. It is called laryngeal prominence in the medical field. This structure is made up of layers of cartilage tissue that surrounds your voice box or larynx. This cartilage protects your voice box and it continues to grow until you are old.
The Adam’s apple is found in both female and male. In men, it is bigger than in women. The Adam’s apple grows in both gender at adolescent and puberty and causes a change in boy’s voice. The voice of a girl also changes at this time but it occurs slowly.
When the Adam’s apple has problems such as it is infected it causes painful sores in your throat. These sores make it difficult for you to swallow food and speak clearly.
Causes of Sore Adam’s Apple
There are a number of causes that are responsible for making Adam’s apple to become sore. They include:
Laryngitis: The most common cause of sore Adam’s apple is laryngitis. This condition causes your larynx to become inflamed as a result of infection, overuse of irritation. This infection can spread and affect the Adam’s apple causing painful sores.
In the larynx, there are two folds of mucous membrane that enclose the cartilage and vocal cords. Usually, your vocal cords open and close easily and forms sound as they move and vibrate.
However when you have laryngitis, your vocal cords are inflamed or irritated. The inflammation causes painful sores in the Adam’s apple as well as it distorts sound produced over them. Your sound can become hoarse and it may not be detected easily.
Laryngitis can be grouped into two categories: acute and chronic laryngitis. Acute laryngitis is not a serious condition as it improves after a short period of time. This type of laryngitis occurs as a result of viral infections such those from cold or flu, bacterial infections and vocal strain which occurs when you overuse your voice or yell.
Chronic Laryngitis occurs as a result of exposure to irritants. It lasts more than three weeks as compared to acute laryngitis. Injuries and overgrowths in your vocal cords can also cause chronic laryngitis. Inhaling chemicals, smoke and allergens can lead to this condition. Smoking and excess consumption of alcohol are other causes of chronic laryngitis.
There are some risk factors that can make you more vulnerable to laryngitis. They include:
- Respiratory infection– People with any respiratory illness such as cold, flu, bronchitis can get laryngitis.
- Overuse of your voice: You can overuse your voice when speaking, singing or shouting. This can affect your vocal cords leading to laryngitis.
- Exposure to irritants: People who expose themselves to smoke, dust and chemicals are at higher risk of developing laryngitis.
Stress: Stress is another cause of problems in your Adam’s apple. Stress can cause tension in your neck, throat and upper chest. This can pull your thyroid cartilages and vocal cords thus affecting the quality of voice.
Symptoms of Sore Adam’s apple
Apart from painful sore in your Adam’s apple, the area can become swollen. You may experience aches in your ears and painful sore throat. This can also affect your voice; you may have a hoarse voice. Your voice may be completely lost if the infection is severe. You may also experience difficulty in breathing and unrelenting coughing.
If your symptoms lasts more than a week, you should seek for medical assistance. Your doctor can diagnose your condition through physical exam and several tests.
- Physical exam: In physical exam, your doctor can listen to your voice to find out if it is hoarse and assess your vocal cords to find out the problem.
- The following tests can be ordered to assist in the diagnosis:
- Laryngoscopy: Your doctor inspects your vocal cords through a technique known as laryngoscopy. A mirror and a source of light are used to check for problems in your vocal cords. Alternatively, your doctor can insert a tube called endoscope through your nose or mouth into the throat with a source of light and camera. Your doctor examines your vocal cords as you speak.
- Biopsy: Your doctor can also order a biopsy to find out the cause of the condition. A sample of the tissue in your Adam’s apple will be taken and analyzed to find out the cause of the problem.
Treatment of sore Adam’s apple depends on its cause. Treatment will involve a combination of medications and home remedies to alleviate the symptoms. The following treatment options can be use treat a sore Adam’s apple:
Antibiotics: If the cause is bacteria, antibiotics are recommended to treat the infection.
Corticosteroids: These medications are prescribed to lower inflammation in your vocal cords and boost your voice quality.
Home remedies: You can use the following home remedies to treat a sore Adam’s apple:
- Drink a lot of fluids to hydrate yourself. Avoid taking caffeine and alcohol.
- Avoid decongestant drugs; these drugs can make your throat dry.
- Moisten your throat by chewing a gum or gargle your throat with salt water.
- Eat fruits, whole grain and vegetable to keep your throat healthy.