IN THIS ARTICLE
Because most cases of laryngitis are caused by viruses, the best prevention is making sure to wash hands often, especially before touching the face, to minimize the transmission of contagious microbes. Despite these efforts, much like a common cold, it is impossible to eliminate the risk altogether.
For children, it is important to receive the Haemophilus influenzae vaccine in order to protect them from possibly life-threatening contagious bacterial infections. Otherwise, taking care not to overuse the voice is the only other preventive step.
Chronic laryngitis is a concern. If the a person has a change in his or her voice, or hoarseness that lasts more than 2 to 3 weeks, a doctor should be consulted. This long-term voice change could be caused by an easily treatable condition such as acid reflux or being exposed to a substance that continues to irritate the vocal cords. It might be the first sign of a serious condition, however, such as a tumor on the voice box that needs medical attention. The hoarseness may be due to a laryngeal papilloma on the vocal folds or more worrisome, a laryngeal cancer; other lesions that affect the recurrent laryngeal nerve may also cause hoarseness.
Medically reviewed by Joseph Palermo, DO; American Osteopathic Board Certified Internal Medicine
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/16/2016
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