Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx).
Causes of laryngitis include upper respiratory infection or cold; overuse of the voice box by talking, singing, or shouting; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), reflux laryngitis; chronic irritation of the vocal cords; smoking; exposure to secondhand smoke; or exposure to polluted air.
Laryngitis is contagious only if it is caused by an infection.
Symptoms of laryngitis in adults include dry, sore throat, pain with swallowing, and a feeling of fullness in the throat or neck. If the laryngitis is caused by an infection additional symptoms of fever, swollen lymph nodes, may be experienced.
Symptoms of laryngitis in infants in children include croup, hoarse barky cough, and fever.
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.