Join Clinical Trials for Laryngitis
Laryngitis refers to inflammation of the larynx, or voice box, which contains your vocal cords and produces sound when you speak. The inflammation associated with laryngitis causes the vocal cords to swell, leading to hoarseness and in severe cases, making the voice almost inaudible. Other symptoms include a tickling sensation or raw feeling in the throat, sore throat, dry throat, and cough.
Laryngitis can be acute or chronic, and most cases occur as a result of a viral infection that settles in the throat, or strain on the vocal cords as a result of repetitive use. Occasionally laryngitis can signal the presence of a serious underlying condition. Chronic laryngitis is that which lasts for at least three weeks.
It usually occurs as a result of exposure to irritants, such as inhaled irritants (chemical fumes or smoke), acid reflux, chronic sinusitis, excessive alcohol use, repetitive overuse of the voice, and smoking. Cancer can also lead to the development of chronic laryngitis.
Laryngitis-related research is currently focused on finding better ways to prevent and treat laryngitis, as well as gaining a better understanding of how environmental exposures contribute to the development of laryngitis.
What Will Laryngitis Clinical Trials Be Like?
When participating in a clinical trial designed to investigate laryngitis, there are a few basic tests and procedures you may receive; however, the ultimate design of the particular study will determine which specific procedures you will undergo. The following is a list of some tests and procedures that may be used in clinical trials for laryngitis:
- Detailed physical examination and medical history
- Laryngoscopy: a procedure during which a doctor uses a light and a tiny camera to examine the back of your throat.
- Fiber optic laryngoscopy: a procedure during which a thin, flexible tube with a tiny light and camera attached to the end is inserted through the nose and down into the throat. This allows the doctor to observe the motion of the vocal cords.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): this test uses a computerized x-ray machine to take detailed pictures of areas inside your body.
Typical Laryngitis Clinical Trial Protocol:
Specific examples of clinical trials for laryngitis might include the following:
- A randomized clinical trial to determine if a new drug is safe and effective for the treatment of laryngitis that occurs as a result of gastroesophageal reflux. In this trial, half of the patients would be randomly assigned to receive treatment with the drug, while the other half would receive a placebo.
- A randomized clinical trial to determine if the use of an oral spray consisting of various herbal plant extracts could effectively treat acute laryngitis. In this study, half of the patients would be randomly assigned to receive treatment with the herbal throat spray, while the other half would receive a placebo spray.
- An observational study to determine how the body’s immune system responds during and following treatment with omeprazole (Prilosec) for chronic laryngitis due to gastroesophageal reflux. In this study, patients would provide blood and saliva samples before and after a three week course of treatment with omeprazole.
A brief word about randomized trials and placebos:
Many clinical trials involve the comparison of an investigational treatment to a “standard” treatment. Some studies determine which therapy a patient receives through a process known as randomization, in which patients are randomly assigned to receive either the investigational treatment or the standard treatment.
On occasion, a trial will investigate the use of a standard treatment plus a new drug compared to standard treatment plus a placebo. Placebos are inactive or “sham” treatments that are identical in appearance to the active treatment but have no therapeutic value.
Placebos are necessary to help determine if adverse effects that occur during the clinical trial are the result of the investigational treatment or due to some other factor. They also allow researchers to measure the effects of the active treatment and observe what would have happened without it.
In rare instances where no standard therapy exists, or when a new drug is being evaluated for the first time, the investigational treatment might be compared to a placebo alone (such as the first two examples listed above). In these types of trials, those patients who are randomized to the placebo group do not receive an active treatment.
It is important to know that placebo-only trials are only conducted when scientifically necessary and when patients have been adequately informed that they may end up receiving the placebo rather than the active treatment.
It is very important to note, however, that no one should ever participate in such a placebo trial when there is a widely available and highly effective standard treatment already in existence for their particular disease or condition.
Trial Eligibility and Medical Information Needed:
The type of clinical trial you may be eligible for often depends on many factors. Therefore, it is important to know many details pertaining to your specific diagnosis when searching for clinical trials. Examples of the details you may want to have on hand include:
- Date of onset (and duration) of your laryngitis
- Your prior and current medical history (including infections and gastroesophageal reflux)
- Any identifiable triggers that make your symptoms worse
- A list of your current medications (including prescription, non-prescription, vitamins, and dietary supplements)
- A list of your previous treatments for laryngitis
Suggested Search Terms:
“acute laryngitis,” “chronic laryngitis,” “alcohol laryngitis,” “smoking laryngitis,” “environmental laryngitis,” “pediatric laryngitis,” “children laryngitis,” “allergic laryngitis,” “laryngitis medication,” “laryngitis treatment,” and “laryngitis cancer.”
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