Learn About Laryngitis

What is the definition of Laryngitis?

Laryngitis is swelling and irritation (inflammation) of the voice box (larynx). The problem is most often associated with hoarseness or loss of voice.

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What are the alternative names for Laryngitis?

Hoarseness - laryngitis

What are the causes of Laryngitis?

The voice box (larynx) is located at the top of the airway to the lungs (trachea). The larynx contains the vocal cords. When the vocal cords become inflamed or infected, they swell. This can cause hoarseness. Sometimes, the airway can get blocked.

The most common form of laryngitis is an infection caused by a virus. It may also be caused by:

  • Allergies
  • Bacterial infection
  • Bronchitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Injury
  • Irritants and chemicals

Laryngitis often occurs with an upper respiratory infection, which is typically caused by a virus.

Several forms of laryngitis occur in children that can lead to dangerous or fatal respiratory blockage. These forms include:

  • Croup
  • Epiglottitis
What are the symptoms of Laryngitis?

Symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Hoarseness
  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands in the neck
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What are the current treatments for Laryngitis?

Common laryngitis is often caused by a virus, so antibiotics likely will not help. Your health care provider will make this decision.

Resting your voice helps to reduce inflammation of the vocal cords. A humidifier may soothe the scratchy feeling that comes with laryngitis. Decongestants and pain medicines may relieve the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Laryngitis?

Laryngitis that is not caused by a serious condition often gets better on its own.

What are the possible complications of Laryngitis?

In rare cases, severe respiratory distress develops. This requires immediate medical attention.

When should I contact a medical professional for Laryngitis?

Call your provider if:

  • A small child who is not teething has difficulty breathing, swallowing, or is drooling
  • A child less than 3 months old has hoarseness
  • Hoarseness has lasted for more than 1 week in a child, or 2 weeks in an adult
How do I prevent Laryngitis?

To prevent getting laryngitis:

  • Try to avoid people who have upper respiratory infections during cold and flu season.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • DO NOT strain your voice.
  • Stop smoking. This can help prevent tumors of the head and neck or lungs, which can lead to hoarseness.
Throat anatomy
What are the latest Laryngitis Clinical Trials?
Subglottic Instillation of Flurbiprofen to Prevent Laryngeal Inflammation Resulting From Endotracheal Intubation: Prospective Pilot Study, Randomized, Double Blind, Placebo Controlled.

Summary: Most efficient system for airways controll during general anesthesia is oro-tracheal intubation, in order to allow mechanical ventilation and bronchial suction and to prevent gastric intake. However, in the period after exhumation, traumatism of tube placement causes in 21% to 72% of patients, sore throat (POST), generally associated hoarseness. The incidence of POST is influenced by numerous fact...

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What are the Latest Advances for Laryngitis?
Results of a prospective observational study of the effectiveness of the complex drug Homeovox in adult patients with various types of dysphonia.
Probiotics as a biotherapeutics for the management and prevention of respiratory tract diseases.
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Primary fungal laryngitis mimicking recurrent laryngeal carcinoma.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: October 10, 2020
Published By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Allen CT, Nussenbaum B, Merati AL. Acute and chronic laryngopharyngitis. In: Flint PW, Francis HW, Haughey BH, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 61.

Flint PW. Throat disorders. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 401.

Rodrigues KK, Roosevelt GE. Acute inflammatory upper airway obstruction (croup, epiglottitis, laryngitis, and bacterial tracheitis). In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier;2020:chap 412.