Conditions We Treat: Laryngitis
At ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center, our expert team can diagnose and treat a wide range of throat conditions. Learn about laryngitis, and how we can help. Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box or larynx, an organ that’s located in your neck and contains the vocal cords. The condition can affect children and adults but is more common in the latter. It can be acute — lasting just a few days to a week — or chronic, in which case it may last over two or three weeks. In the case of persistent or recurring laryngitis, it’s important to seek medical attention.
What Causes Laryngitis?
The most common cause of acute laryngitis is viral upper respiratory illness — otherwise known as the common cold. Less common causes include bacteria and parasitic infection.
This form of laryngitis usually results from persistent exposure to an environmental irritant — for example, allergens, smoke, or chemical fumes.
Other causes can include:
- Cigarette smoke
- Chronic sinus infections
- Acid reflux
- Excessive use of vocal cords from singing, yelling, or coughing, for example
What Are Symptoms of Laryngitis?
Laryngitis has a number of symptoms. Some of these include:
- Weakened voice
- Vocal fatigue
- Inability to speak
- Dry or hoarse throat
- Tickling sensation in the throat
- Persistent dry cough
How Is the Diagnosis Established?
Because laryngitis affects the vocal cords, otolaryngologist Dr. Daniel S. Samadi will begin with a visual examination of those structures. He may also conduct a laryngoscopy to view the voice box. This involves inserting a flexible tube with a miniature camera attached through the mouth or nose and looking for signs such as redness, lesions, or swelling.
How Is Laryngitis Treated?
Laryngitis treatment will depend on the underlying cause:
- If a virus is responsible for the condition, the symptoms in most cases will resolve themselves.
- Laryngitis caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics.
- Samadi may also prescribe corticosteroids, which are hormones that will lower inflammation.
Some steps you can take at home to help overcome the condition include:
- Installing a humidifier to reduce dryness
- Drinking a sufficient amount of fluids
- Gargling with salt water
- Resting the voice by not speaking loudly
- Using lozenges as needed to help lubricate the throat
- Avoiding or reducing exposure to environmental irritants
If you or a loved one is experiencing persistent laryngitis symptoms, don’t wait. Schedule an evaluation with Dr. Samadi today at ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center. Together, let’s get you back to good health!