Treatment of Reinke's Edema

One of the most feared ailments by all those people who live by their voice, singers, teachers, speakers, etc., but also an evil that stalks all smokers. It is the Edema of Reinke, a disease that will cause our voice to change, that annoying rasp and noise when breathing will appear. What is Reinke Edema, why is it produced or how to treat it? , we will answer these and other questions in this blog that we have entitled Treatment of Reinke's Edema.

Treatment of Reinke's Edema

What is Reinke's Edema

This is an injury caused by the accumulation of gelatinous fluids, mucoids, within the space of Reinke, under the mucous covering of the vocal cords. Reinke space is the subepithelial space that It exists between the membrane of the epithelium at the level of the glottis and the vocal ligament.

Treatment of Reinke's Edema

This inflammation, most of the time, it is produced by the abuse of both the vocal cords, and by the excess of tobacco consumption . It also seems to be related to other conditions such as hypothyroidism and gastroesophageal reflux.

This edema is called Reinke, in honor of Dr. Reinke, who in 1897 specified the location of the edema, thus giving the name to the space in question and to the disease itself. Other names with which it is known are chronic erythematous or pseudomyxomatous hypertrophic laryngitis, polypoid degeneration or corditis, fibromyxoma or diffuse bilateral polyposis.


Reinke's edema affects people of both sexes and is usually bilateral , meaning inflammation occurs in both vocal cords, rarely seen in a single vocal cord.

Reinke's edema is a benign lesion of the bilateral and asymmetric larynx that affects the entire length of the cord vocal.


When edema occurs in Reinke

Reinke Edema affects both men and women, although if noticed greater incidence to part go from 40 years in men to women.

The edema produces an overload in the vocal folds, and this will cause a decrease in frequency fundamental, called Fo , of the voice.This alteration in the singers makes it impossible for them to broadcast high frequencies, the famous falsettos. This change of voice is called Dysphonia.

Possibly the change of voice is most noticeable when you suffer the Reinke's edema , however it is not the only symptom. Sometimes this inflammation can cause an obstruction to breathe , preventing air from reaching the lungs, this obstruction will improve with the administration of corticosteroids.

Cough and haemorrhage is another characteristic symptom of Reinke's edema, possibly produced by subglottic pressure, due to the effort to speak or vocal fatigue.

How to avoid the edema of Reinke

To start the person affected should definitely quit the tobacco 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 the low and hoarse voice, recovering a voice with much more quality.


Vocal Therapy will be a rehabilitative work through a selection of vocal exercises strong> specific aimed at modifying vocal habits. It can be used to initiate logopedic reeducation and with the help of a professional. The patient will have some indications on the voice care personalized and adapted to their daily vocal habits, to turn them into their new lifestyle.

Some patients need therapy before the surgery and after the intervention. During the process, the therapy will help the patient to reconstruct certain learnings that have been wrongly incorporated during the illness in order to recover and improve the vocal function reduced by the presence of body edema.


However, there are a series of recommendations that will help us improve our ailment and these are:

  • Avoid excessive ambient noise: Avoid places where you are forced to raise your voice, so the vocal cords will not be damaged. Concerts, busy restaurants, nightclubs, etc.
  • Do not talk beyond your means: From now on, let the others 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 for not raise your voice, etc.
  • Do not smoke: Tobacco hurts the organism in general and the vocal cords in particular. In relation to dysphonia, causes irritation, we must not forget that tobacco has a toxic formulation.
  • Keep a good hydration : Drinking water is essential for good hydration of the ropes vocal, 2 liters is recommended. When we say water we mean any liquid that hydrates except 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 scarce.
  • Medicines: L Medicines such as antihistamines or antidepressants will also cause dryness in the throat.
  • Get enough sleep and avoid shouting: When we sleep we will keep our vocal cords relaxed, so sleep a minimum of 7 hours will be beneficial for our body and our throat.We leave you some TIPS, which will be very helpful.
    • Drink zucchini or borage broths, two vegetables rich in mucilage that soften mucous membranes, for its Gelatinous pseudo-dissolution.
    • Onion . Crushing an onion well, better in a blender, add two tablespoons of honey, strain it and drink the equivalent of 3 tablespoons throughout the day.
    • Gargle
      • Gargle with lemon. Boil a cup of water and add the juice of 1 lemon. With this preparation we can make warm gargles at least twice a day.
      • Gargle with plantain. Boil a cup of water and add a spoonful of plantain, let it cool and ready to gargle.
      • Gargle with salt. You can gargle several times a day by mixing in a cup of hot water, a spoonful of coarse salt.
    Treatment of Reinke's Edema
    • Infusion with thyme. In a cup of boiling water add a tablespoon of thyme. Leave for 10 minutes resting and add the juice of 1/2 lemon plus a teaspoon of honey. It is drunk as if it were a tea.
    • Pineapple juice or pineapple slices. Because of the properties of the pineapple, it will be an indispensable aid to revitalize the tissues of both the larynx and the larynx. of the vocal cords.
    • Steam. Fill a large bowl with boiling water, put the face as close as possible to the water covered by a towel, now it is about breathing the nose the steam.
    • Leek broth. With two leeks well cut, we boil them for 20 minutes in approximately 1 liter of water. Strain the broth and drink throughout the day.
    • Baking soda. Juice a lemon and pour it in half a cup of water, add half a spoonful of baking soda, mix well and drink.
    • Carrot broth. Cut 200 g of carrots and boil them in 1 liter of water for 10 minutes. We add a spoonful of honey and consume it.

    Reinke's Edema - Operation

    Surgery should be the last treatment option and for more serious cases where respiratory difficulties may exist or to improve quality vocal. This operation is not particularly complex and involves removing excess material and fabric.

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