Laryngitis

Side view of a man holding his throat with his mouth slightly open.

What Is Laryngitis?

It’s frustrating to be in the middle of a presentation at work or a conversation with friends and lose your voice. One cause of this is laryngitis, which occurs when your larynx, or voice box, becomes inflamed. When the vocal cords become inflamed, they swell, which causes the sounds they produce to become distorted. This leads to your voice sounding raspy or hoarse.

If you’re exhibiting signs of laryngitis, our team at Charleston ENT & Allergy is here to help you get your voice back.

What Are the Symptoms of Laryngitis?

  • Losing your voice
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore or dry throat
  • Cough

How Long Does Laryngitis Last?

Acute laryngitis is typically the result of vocal strains or viral and bacterial infections. It typically resolves on its own, but until then, you can improve your symptoms by drinking fluids and resting your voice.

Chronic laryngitis can be caused by chronic sinusitis, acid reflux, inhaling irritants like allergens or chemicals, smoking, overusing your voice or alcohol use, and is more likely to require medical intervention.

How Is Laryngitis Diagnosed and Treated?

During your appointment, our ear, nose, and throat doctor will discuss your medical history, your symptoms and the impact they’re having on your daily activities. They’ll also perform a physical exam. This will potentially include a laryngoscopy, during which time your doctor will use a light and mirror to view the back of your throat. This single procedure is often all that’s needed for an ENT to discover the cause of your symptoms.

Treatment for chronic laryngitis will depend on what’s causing it. Your doctor might recommend limiting smoking or alcohol consumption or treatment for chronic sinusitis. If you have a bacterial infection, they may prescribe antibiotics, and if your vocal cords are inflamed, they might prescribe corticosteroids.

What Next?

Whether your laryngitis is chronic or acute, your doctor will provide the treatment that will best serve your needs. They’ll also be there to answer any questions you have about your condition or treatment plan, allowing you to feel confident during this process. Soon enough, you’ll be back to speaking with ease.