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Laryngitis: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Laryngitis?

Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx). This organ is located in your upper neck just past the back of your throat. Swelling of the vocal cords blocks sound, making you hoarse. When you try to speak, all that comes out is a whisper or squeak.

A swollen voice box can be caused by an infection, such as a cold or the flu, or by overexertion.

Laryngitis is not usually a serious problem. Acute laryngitis should go away within 3 weeks, but sometimes it lasts longer and becomes chronic. But there are things you can do to make yourself feel better.pecially if you have been around someone who is sick.

Laryngitis is an inflammation in the larynx (voice box) which is responsible for producing sound It may be caused by a specific infection; however it can also occur due to excessive speaking or smoking and drinking alcohol In order to prevent this condition you should never smoke avoid keeping your mouth open while singing or talking loudly and drink less alcoholic beverages If you already have laryngitis you should gargle with warm salt water several times a day to reduce pain Furthermore stay away from spicy foods that irritate the throat and try eating cold food because they are easier to swallow than hot ones It


Laryngitis

Explanation of medical terms and concepts Laryngitis


Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box from overuse or infection

Your vocal cords are found in the larynx a small piece of tissue that is located at the top of your windpipe Your vocal cords are two folds of mucus membrane covering muscle and cartilage Your vocal cords normally open and close smoothly forming sounds through their movement and vibration

But if you get laryngitis the vocal cords become inflamed or irritated This can make your voice sound hoarse or distorted In some cases of laryngitis your voice becomes almost undetectable

Laryngitis may be short-lived (acute) or long-lasting (chronic) Most cases of laryngitis are triggered by a temporary viral infection and aren't serious Persistent hoarseness can sometimes signal a more serious underlying medical condition

Symptoms Laryngitis

Laryngitis symptoms usually last less than a couple of weeks and are probably caused by something minor such as a virus Sometimes laryngitis symptoms are caused by something more serious or long lasting Laryngitis signs and symptoms can include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Weak voice or voice loss
  • A tickling sensation in your throat and a rawness in the back of your throat
  • Sore throat
  • Dry throat
  • Dry cough

When to see a doctor

Most cases of laryngitis can be managed with self-care steps such as resting your voice and drinking plenty of fluids Strenuous use of your voice while experiencing acute attacks can damage your vocal cords

Make an appointment with a doctor if you have laryngitis symptoms for more than two weeks

Seek immediate medical attention if you:

  • Have trouble breathing
  • Cough up blood
  • Have a fever that won't go away
  • Have increasing pain over weeks

If your child has any of these symptoms seek immediate medical attention

  • Wheezing is noisy and high-pitched
  • Drools more than usual
  • Has trouble swallowing
  • Has difficulty breathing
  • Has a fever

The following symptoms may indicate croup They include a cough and sore throat fever wheezing hoarseness and difficulty swallowing Hoarseness may be accompanied by other symptoms such as a cracked or raspy voice Croup is usually easily treated at home with over-the-counter medicines but more severe symptoms require medical attention These more severe symptoms can also be caused by epiglottitis an inflammation of the cartilage that acts as a lid for the It is important to prevent epiglottis from covering the windpipe which is life threatening for children and adults

Causes Laryngitis

Acute laryngitis

Most cases of laryngitis are temporary and improve after the underlying cause gets better Causes of acute laryngitis include:

  • Viral infections that cause the same symptoms as a common cold
  • Vocal strain caused by yelling or overusing your voice
  • These are less common

Chronic laryngitis

A persistent case of laryngitis that lasts longer than 3 weeks is known as chronic laryngitis Chronic laryngitis can cause vocal cord strain and injuries or growths on the vocal cords (polyps or nodules) caused by:

  • Inhaled irritants such as chemical fumes and allergens can cause asthma
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) also called acid reflux
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Overuse of your voice (such as in singers or cheerleaders) can lead to an acquired vocal cord paralysis
  • Smoking

Less common causes of chronic laryngitis include:

  • Bacterial or fungal infections
  • Infections with certain parasites

Other causes of chronic hoarseness include:

  • Cancer
  • Vocal cord paralysis can occur when nerve damage occurs after surgery on the chest or neck and it may result from nerve injury due to cancer of the throat or other health conditions
  • Bowing of the vocal cords

Risk factors Laryngitis

Risk factors for laryngitis include:

  • Having a respiratory infection, such as a cold, bronchitis or sinusitis
  • Exposure to irritating substances,Various toxins can cause heart disease
  • Overusing your voice,by speaking too loudly shouting or singing

Complications

In some instances of laryngitis caused by infection the infection may spread to other parts of the respiratory tract

Prevention Laryngitis

To prevent dryness or irritation to your vocal cords:

  • Avoid smoking and stay away from smokeSmoking dries your throat and it can also irritate your vocal cords
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine.Those things cause you to lose a lot of body water
  • Drink plenty of water.Fluids help keep the mucus in your throat thin and easy to clear
  • Keep spicy foods out of your diet.Spicy foods can cause heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Include a variety of healthy foods in your dietFruits vegetables and whole grains are a good source of vitamins A E and C These vitamins help support overall health They also can help keep the mucous membranes in the throat healthy
  • Avoid clearing your throat.This does more harm than good because it causes an abnormal vibration of your vocal cords and can increase swelling which can cause you to clear your throat again This causes a lot of mucus to be produced and the additional mucus irritates your throat
  • Avoid upper respiratory infections.Wash your hands often and avoid contact with people who have upper respiratory infections such as colds

Diagnosis Laryngitis

the most common sign of laryngitis is hoarseness Changes in your voice may vary from mild hoarseness to nearly total loss of your voice If you have chronic hoarseness your doctor may review your medical history and symptoms He or she may want to perform a physical examination and order a bronchoscopy (obstruction by secretions) If your voice sounds funny it might be due to a problem with your vocal cords A doctor may refer you to an ear nose and throat specialist

These techniques sometimes are used to diagnose laryngitis

  • Laryngoscopy. In a procedure called laryngoscopy your doctor can look inside your throat by using a light and a tiny mirror to look into the back of your throat Or your doctor may use fiber-optic laryngoscopy This involves inserting a thin flexible tube (endoscope) with a tiny camera and light through the mouth or nose Visualize your nose or mouth and then into the back of your throat This will help a physician to see how you move your vocal cords when you are speaking
  • Biopsy.If your doctor believes there is a suspicious area he or she may do a biopsy—taking a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope

Treatment Laryngitis

Acute laryngitis often gets better on its own in a week or so Self-care measures such as rest drinking fluids and humidifying your air also can help improve symptoms

Treatments for chronic laryngitis should be directed toward the underlying cause For example smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can cause laryngitis Also treating these causes will often correct the problem

Medications used in some cases include:

  • Antibiotics.In almost all cases of laryngitis an antibiotic won't help This is because the cause is usually viral If you have a bacterial infection your doctor may recommend an antibiotic
  • Corticosteroids.Corticosteriods sometimes help reduce vocal cord inflammation They are used only when there's an urgent need to treat laryngitis such as in some cases when a toddler has laryngitis associated with croup

You may also have voice therapy to help you minimize the behaviors that worsen your voice

In some cases, you may need surgery.

Clinical trials

Explore a selection of Mayo Clinic studies to search for new treatments and tests that can help prevent detect or manage this condition

Lifestyle and home remedies

Some self-care methods and home treatments may relieve the symptoms of laryngitis and reduce strain on your voice

  • Breathe moist air.Use a humidifier to keep the air throughout your home or office moist Inhale steam from a bowl of hot water or shower
  • Rest your voice as much as possible.Speak quietly and in moderation if you need to use a microphone or megaphone Smaller groups can speak more quietly
  • Drink plenty of fluidsto prevent dehydration (avoid alcohol and caffeine)
  • Moisten your throat.Try sucking on lozenges (chewing a piece of gum) to help with dry mouth
  • Avoid decongestants.These common medications can dry out your throat
  • Avoid whispering.Speech is more difficult than normal when you're talking with a hoarse croaky voice

Preparing for your appointment

You may be referred to a doctor trained in ear nose and throat disorders

Here are some of the things you need to know about your appointment

What you can do

  • If there are any pre-appointment restrictions be aware of themWhen you make an appointment ask to make sure that there's nothing you need to do ahead of time
  • Write down any symptoms you are experiencingWhen scheduling an appointment make sure the doctor you are seeing is covering the topics that you would like to discuss Do not miss out on anything because it may seem unrelated at first
  • Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent
  • Make a list of all medications,"What are the vitamins and supplements you're taking?"
  • Take a family member or friend along,If you are unable to remember something someone may accompany you who will remind you of the information
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor Some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What do I think could be causing my symptoms or condition?
  • What are other possible causes?
  • What tests do I need, if any?
  • Is my condition likely to be temporary or chronic?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to your primary approach?
  • I have other health conditions How can I best manage them together?
  • Is there anything I need to do?
  • Should I see a subspecialist?
  • How do you treat this condition?
  • Do you have brochures or other printed material I can take home? What websites do you recommend?

Ask any other questions

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions such as:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • How long have you had the symptoms?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • If anything seems to improve your symptoms what is it?
  • What if anything appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you drink alcohol?
  • Do you have allergies? Have you recently had a cold?
  • Have you recently used your vocal cords excessively such as by singing or shouting?

General summary

(Hoarseness) Laryngitis (also called hoarseness or loss of voice) is a common condition that affects your voice box You can have laryngitis temporarily due to an illness such as cold or the flu or it can be a symptom of a chronic condition like allergies or acid reflux disease (GERD) When you have laryngitis you may have difficulty talking and/or swallowing Your voice may sound different than usual because it's raspy weak or breathy The pitch and loudness of your voice may also change Sometimes your throat will feel

Treatments Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx or voice box It causes a loss of voice and painful throat symptoms including hoarseness tenderness and pain when swallowing Laryngitis can be triggered by infections such as colds or flu but more often occurs without any known cause Treatment aims to improve symptoms but in some cases further treatment may be necessary

and symptoms Acute laryngitis is an inflammation or infection of the vocal cords and surrounding structures caused by a viral or bacterial infection The result is hoarseness loss of voice and difficulty breathing (dyspnea) People with acute laryngitis typically do not have other signs or symptoms that are associated with more serious conditions affecting the respiratory tract like pneumonia

What is the fastest way to cure laryngitis?

There are many ways to treat laryngitis Your doctor can determine which treatment is best for you but you may also be able to use some natural treatments at home If you have laryngitis and need a fast way to cure it see your doctor He or she will probably prescribe an antibiotic steroid or antihistamine medication that's designed to give quick relief from symptoms However remember that these medications do not treat the cause of the problem so they should only be used as a temporary measure until all traces of the virus have been eliminated from the body A much more effective way to get

What drinks help laryngitis?

There are two types of laryngitis: viral and bacterial The good news is that both can be cured with simple lifestyle changes and home remedies Viral Laryngitis – also known as acute laryngitis – is a temporary ailment caused by the common cold or flu infection Symptoms of this type include pain when swallowing sore throat hoarseness loss of sense of taste headache runny nose and cough To help ease the symptoms you might need to drink more fluids so your vocal cords don’t get dried out Water is best for trickling down inflammation in your

Is Honey Good for laryngitis?

Honey can be mixed with lemon juice and salt to help soothe your throat Honey also helps to control coughing as well as bring down the temperature of fever To make this remedy you will need two tablespoons of honey half a teaspoon of lemon juice a teaspoon of warm water and pinch of salt

What is the best medicine for laryngitis?

According to the Mayo Clinic there is no known cure for laryngitis Medications are designed to treat specific symptoms of laryngitis such as sore throat and cough Antibiotics may be used in some cases if a bacterial infection has been diagnosed It will take time for your vocal cords to heal so it's important that you do not talk or attempt to sing while they are inflamed Rest is essential as well; engaging in physical activity that involves speaking or singing during recovery can delay healing and cause permanent damage

Does laryngitis get worse at night?

Yes it is quite common to have laryngitis symptoms worsen at night When you lie down and relax the airways in your throat -- which are what make it possible to breathe when you're asleep -- tend to become more constricted This can put pressure on the vocal cords It's not a big deal if it happens occasionally but if this is occurring regularly or frequently you should schedule an appointment with an ENT doctor or an otolaryngologist (ear nose and throat specialist) They should be able to give you some advice on how to minimize or prevent the symptoms from worsening throughout the day and at

at home Taking care is the best way to lower your risk of getting laryngitis or keeping it from coming back For example keeping something in your throat that you shouldn't be there can cause problems So if you've got a cold and have a stuffed-up nose take extra care to make sure all food and drink goes into your mouth and not down your windpipe Treating an abscessed gland at home drinking lots of liquids (that doesn't mean alcohol) resting when needed and trying to avoid stress are also important in avoiding having another episode

Diseases Diagnosis and Treatment-A/Z

Laryngitis: Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

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