Is Laryngitis Contagious?

Reviewed on 12/15/2020

What Is Laryngitis?

Laryngitis caused by an infection can be contagious. Laryngitis, or inflammation of the vocal cords that causes hoarseness or voice loss, can also be caused by allergies, shouting or environmental irritants and is not contagious in these cases.
Laryngitis caused by an infection can be contagious. Laryngitis, or inflammation of the vocal cords that causes hoarseness or voice loss, can also be caused by allergies, shouting or environmental irritants and is not contagious in these cases.

Laryngitis is inflammation of the vocal cords that can result in hoarseness and even complete loss of voice. 

Laryngitis can be acute, with a rapid onset and limited duration of sy

What Are Symptoms of Laryngitis?

Symptoms of laryngitis include: 

What Causes Laryngitis?

Causes of laryngitis include:

Is Laryngitis Contagious?

Laryngitis is a symptom and in itself it is not contagious; however, some causes of laryngitis can be contagious.

Laryngitis caused by viral or bacterial infections can be contagious. Rarely, laryngitis may be caused by fungus, which can also be contagious. However, most viruses, bacteria, and fungi that tend to cause laryngitis are not usually highly contagious types. 

Viruses, bacteria, and fungi are usually transmitted from person-to-person and through respiratory droplets propelled into the air when an affected person coughs or sneezes. The germs may also be present in saliva and passed on through kissing.

How Is Laryngitis Diagnosed?

Laryngitis is usually diagnosed with a medical history and physical examination. In order to diagnose the cause of the laryngitis, tests may include: 

  • Laryngoscopy
  • Biopsy of laryngeal tissue 
  • Culture of the throat
  • Blood tests

SLIDESHOW

Bacterial Infections 101: Types, Symptoms, and Treatments See Slideshow

What Is the Treatment for Laryngitis?

Treatment for laryngitis depends on the cause. In many cases, home care to relieve symptoms may be all that is needed. For laryngitis due to:

  • Vocal strain: rest your voice – don’t whisper as this can worsen symptoms
  • Smoking: quit smoking
  • Drinking alcohol: limit alcohol intake
  • Inhaling harsh chemicals: avoid the chemical or ensure fresh air is coming in to the place you are exposed to fumes or that ventilation fans are used
  • Acid reflux: treatments for acid reflux include:
    • Medications if recommended
    • Avoiding foods that trigger or worsen symptoms such as alcohol, coffee, and chocolate
    • Don’t smoke
    • Eat several small meals, rather than 2 or 3 big meals
    • Do not lie down for at least 3 hours after eating, especially after large meals

Other home remedies to relieve symptoms associated with laryngitis include: 

  • Use a humidifier to moisten air
  • Get adequate rest 
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Use menthol inhalers
  • Gargle with warm salt water to sooth the throat
  • Suck on throat lozenges (lozenges are not recommended for young children; they can be a choking hazard)  
  • Avoid dusty areas
  • Don’t take decongestants which can dry the throat
  • In chronic or severe cases, medications to treat laryngitis may include:

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Reviewed on 12/15/2020
References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/laryngitis-the-basics

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/864671-overview