By: My Nguyen, Medically reviewed by: Dr. Duyen Le.
Laryngitis is a condition that causes inflammation of your larynx, also known as your voice box. Inside your voice box are your vocal cords, 2 folds of mucous membranes. Normally, your voice is formed through the vibration if these 2 folds. When inflamed, your voice become hoarse or is lost. You may also experience harsh breathing and a painful cough. The inflammation is usually caused by overuse, irritation, or infection.
Laryngitis can be temporary or can last for a long period time. If your symptoms last long, it may be a sign of something more serious. It is important to get checked with your doctor.
Laryngitis is a fairly common disease. This is more common in people who use their voice constantly on a daily basis such has public speakers and singers. It is also common in people who are infected with a cold or bronchitis. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
The common sign and symptom of laryngitis is your voice becomes deep and hoarse or in some cases the voice is lost. Other symptoms include:
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
Laryngitis is not a serious condition and can usually resolve with home treatments. In some cases, laryngitis may be a sign of a more serious condition. You should consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
The most common causes of laryngitis depends if it is short-lived (acute) or long-term (chronic). Here are some of the common causes:
Some forms of laryngitis in children can be caused by respiratory obstruction or infection such as croup or epiglottitis. These are very serious conditions. You should contact your doctor right away.
There are many risk factors for laryngitis, such as:
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
To provide a proper diagnosis, your doctor will examine your medical history and physical condition. In addition your doctor may perform the following tests:
For acute laryngitis, symptoms will usually resolve on its own within a week or so. You can use some home treatments or non-prescription drugs to relieve your discomfort. These may include analgesics (NSAIDs such as ibuprofen), cough syrups or paracetamol. You should also rest your voice by saying little or writing messages on notes instead. For more chronic laryngitis, your doctor may prescribe the following treatment options:
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with laryngitis:
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Ferri, Fred. Ferri’s Netter Patient Advisor. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders / Elsevier, 2012. Print edition. Page 541
Porter, R. S., Kaplan, J. L., Homeier, B. P., & Albert, R. K. (2009). The Merck manual home health handbook. Whitehouse Station, NJ, Merck Research Laboratories. Page 1403
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017