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Laryngopharyngitis is a disease of the upper respiratory tract that produces inflammation of the larynx (laryngitis) and pharynx (pharyngitis) at the same time.
The larynx corresponds to the vocal box, where the vocal cords that produce the voice are found. Inflammation of the pharynx corresponds to an inflammation of the fundus of the throat.
It is the most common explanation for a sore throat. Both conditions are usually of viral origin and are very common to occur together.
Laryngopharyngitis is common. It commonly affects more females than males. It can affect patients at any age. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Symptoms of laryngitis
Laryngitis signs and symptoms can include:
Symptoms of pharyngitis
The incubation period is typically two to five days. Symptoms that accompany pharyngitis vary depending on the underlying condition.
In addition to a sore, dry, or scratchy throat, a cold or flu may cause:
In addition to a sore throat, the symptoms of mononucleosis (a form of viral infection that causes pharyngitis) include:
Strep throat, another type of pharyngitis, can also cause:
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
Causes of laryngitis
Most cases of laryngitis are temporary and improve after the underlying cause gets better. Causes of acute laryngitis include:
Laryngitis that lasts longer than three weeks is known as chronic laryngitis. This type of laryngitis is generally caused by exposure to irritants over time. Chronic laryngitis can cause vocal cord strain and injuries or growths on the vocal cords (polyps or nodules). These injuries can be caused by:
Less common causes of chronic laryngitis include:
Other causes of chronic hoarseness include:
Causes of pharyngitis
There are numerous viral and bacterial agents that can cause pharyngitis. They include:
Viruses are the most common cause of sore throats. Pharyngitis is most commonly caused by viral infections such as the common cold, influenza, or mononucleosis. Viral infections don’t respond to antibiotics, and treatment is only necessary to help relieve symptoms.
Less commonly, pharyngitis is caused by a bacterial infection. Bacterial infections require antibiotics. The most common bacterial infection of the throat is strep throat, which is caused by group A streptococcus. Rare causes of bacterial pharyngitis include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and corynebacterium.
Frequent exposure to colds and flus can increase your risk for pharyngitis. This is especially true for people with jobs in healthcare, allergies, and frequent sinus infections. Exposure to secondhand smoke may also raise your risk.
Risk factors for laryngitis include:
Risk factors for pharyngitis include:
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is laryngitis diagnosed?
The most common sign of laryngitis is hoarseness. Changes in your voice can vary with the degree of infection or irritation, ranging from mild hoarseness to almost total loss of your voice. If you have chronic hoarseness, your doctor may want to listen to your voice and to examine your vocal cords, and he or she may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist (otorhinolaryngologist).
These techniques sometimes are used to help diagnose laryngitis:
How is pharyngitis diagnosed?
If you’re experiencing symptoms of pharyngitis, your doctor will look at your throat. They’ll check for any white or gray patches, swelling, and redness. Your doctor may also look in your ears and nose. To check for swollen lymph nodes, they will feel the sides of your neck.
If your doctor suspects that you have strep throat, they will likely take a throat culture. This involves using a cotton swab to take a sample of the secretions from your throat. Most doctors are able to do a rapid strep test in the office. This test will tell your doctor within a few minutes if the test is positive for streptococcus. In some cases, the swab is sent to a lab for further testing and results are not available for at least 24 hours.
If your doctor suspects another cause of your pharyngitis, they may order blood work. A small sample of blood from your arm or hand is drawn and then sent to a lab for testing. This test can determine whether you have mononucleosis. A complete blood count (CBC) test may be done to determine if you have another type of infection.
How is laryngitis treated?
Acute laryngitis often gets better on its own within a week or so. Self-care measures also can help improve symptoms.
Chronic laryngitis treatments are aimed at treating the underlying causes, such as heartburn, smoking or excessive use of alcohol.
Medications used in some cases include:
How is pharyngitis treated?
In some cases, medical treatment is necessary for pharyngitis. This is especially the case if it’s caused by a bacterial infection. For such instances, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), amoxicillin and penicillin are the most commonly prescribed treatments for strep throat.
It’s important that you take the entire course of antibiotics to prevent the infection from returning or worsening. An entire course of these antibiotics usually lasts 7 to 10 days.
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What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage laryngopharyngitis?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with laryngopharyngitis :
Home care for laryngitis:
Home care for pharyngitis:
If a virus is causing your pharyngitis, home care can help relieve symptoms. Home care includes:
For pain and fever relief, consider taking over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). Throat lozenges may also be helpful in soothing a painful, scratchy throat.
Alternative remedies are sometimes used to treat pharyngitis. However, you should contact your doctor before using them to avoid drug interactions or other health complications. Some of the most commonly used herbs include:
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.