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Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx).
Causes of laryngitis include upper respiratory infection or
overuse of the voice box by talking, singing, or shouting; gastroesophageal
reflux disese (GERD),
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.
The most common symptoms of laryngitis are hoarseness, loss of voice,
and throat pain.
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
swollen lymph nodes,
may be experienced.
Symptoms of laryngitis in infants in children include croup, hoarse
barky cough, and fever.
Chronic laryngitis, in which the symptoms last for weeks may be caused by
by gastroesophageal reflux disease, smoking,
constant exposure to secondhand smoke, air polution, or alcohol use.
Chronic inflammation due to laryngitis may cause the formation of nodules or polyps on the vocal
Treatment of laryngitis is usually symptomatic with voice rest,
humidfied air, and certain home remedies for symptom relief.
If symptoms of laryngitis persist for more than three weeks or continue
to recur, contact your health care professional for further evalution.
Complications of laryngitis from GERD include pneumonia,
and vocal cord paralysis.