Symptoms and Signs of Laryngitis

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 8/19/2021

Doctor's Notes on Laryngitis

Laryngitis is inflammation and/or swelling of the larynx (also termed voice box). The most common symptoms of laryngitis include voice hoarseness or only able to whisper, feeling a tickle or slight irritation in the throat and the urge to clear the throat, cough, and/or fever.

There are multiple causes of laryngitis. The most common causes are infections by viruses or stressing your voice. Bacteria can also cause laryngitis. Even after the infection has resolved, laryngitis symptoms may persist for a few weeks. If laryngitis persists, the underlying cause could be cancer.

What Are the Treatments for Laryngitis?

The treatments for laryngitis depend on the diagnosis of its underlying causes. For example:

  • Acute laryngitis gets better within a week. It improves with voice rest, drinking fluids, and humidified air exposure.
  • Viral-caused laryngitis is the major cause of laryngitis. The treatment is the same as above.
  • Bacterial-caused laryngitis: Antibiotics are the appropriate treatment.
  • Inflammation: Corticosteroids are the appropriate treatment.
  • Underlying causes include voice stress, heartburn, smoking, alcohol abuse, and cancer.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.