Laryngitis

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    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.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    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.

Laryngitis Symptoms

Laryngitis is defined as inflammation of the voice box or larynx, which results in voice changes, for example, hoarseness or complete loss of the voice.

Other symptoms that may accompany laryngitis include:

  • Runny nose
  • Throat pain
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Cough...

Quick GuideCommon Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat

Common Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat

Laryngitis facts

  • Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice cords in the voice box (larynx).
  • Causes of laryngitis include upper respiratory infection or the common cold; overuse of the vocal cords by talking, singing, or shouting; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) causing reflux laryngitis; smoking; exposure to secondhand smoke; or exposure to polluted air.
  • Laryngitis is contagious if it is caused by an infection.
  • The most common signs and symptoms of laryngitis are hoarseness, loss of voice, and throat pain.
  • Additional signs and symptoms of laryngitis in adults may 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, the affected person also may have symptoms of fever, swollen lymph nodes (swollen glands).
  • Additional signs and symptoms of laryngitis in infants or children are associated with croup and include a hoarse barky cough and fever.
  • Laryngitis is considered chronic when signs and symptoms of last longer than three weeks.
  • Chronic laryngitis may be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease, smoking, constant exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, or alcohol use.
  • Chronic inflammation due to laryngitis may cause the formation of nodules or polyps on the vocal cords.
  • Treatment of laryngitis is usually symptomatic with voice rest, humidified air, and natural and home remedies for symptom relief.
  • If signs and symptoms of laryngitis persist for more than three weeks or continue to recur, make an appointment with a doctor.
  • Complications of laryngitis from GERD include pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and vocal cord paralysis. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 5/18/2016
References
REFERENCE:

Tintinalli JE, etal. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th edition McGraw hill Professional. 2010.

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