Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Laryngitis Overview

What is laryngitis?
A person with laryngitis has inflammation of the larynx, usually caused by a viral infection. The inflammation of the vocal cords in the larynx causes the voice to become hoarse. Laryngitis is very common, and usually resolves within 7-10 days without treatment. Additional causes of laryngitis include allergies, sinusitis and strep throat. Chronic laryngitis is less common, but can occur as the result of allergies.

What are the symptoms of laryngitis?
The most common symptom of laryngitis is a hoarse voice. Additional symptoms of laryngitis include cough, difficulty swallowing, sore throat, sinus congestion, runny nose, fever, and posterior nasal drip.

How does the doctor treat laryngitis?
Laryngitis usually resolves within 7 to 10 days, without treatment. Treatment for laryngitis may include avoiding smoking and exposure to secondary smoke, resting the voice, throat lozenges, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain. Treatment may also include antibiotics when the laryngitis is due to a bacterial infection, such as sinusitis.

Continue to Laryngitis Risk Factors

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Laryngitis References
  1. Klassen TP. Recent advances in the treatment of bronchiolitis and laryngitis. Pediatr Clin North Am. 1997 Feb;44(1):249-61. [9057793]
  2. Noordzij JP, Khidr A, Evans BA, Desper E, Mittal RK, Reibel JF, Levine PA. Evaluation of omeprazole in the treatment of reflux laryngitis: a prospective, placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study. Laryngoscope. 2001 Dec;111(12):2147-51. [11802014]
  3. Reveiz L, Cardona AF, Ospina EG. Antibiotics for acute laryngitis in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Jan 25;(1):CD004783. [15674965]
  4. Vaezi MF. Laryngitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease: increasing prevalence or poor diagnostic tests? Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 May;99(5):786-8. [15128337]
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