Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box that causes a change in the air flow to your throat. The change in air flow leads to your voice to become hoarse. Laryngitis is usually not serious and symptoms typically go away on their own within two weeks. On rare occasions, laryngitis can become chronic.
What Causes Acute Laryngitis?
Acute Laryngitis typically occurs from an underlying cause. Most common causes include:
- Viral infections, similar to the flu or a cold
- Inflammation of the larynx caused by yelling or overusing your voice
- Rarely, laryngitis can be caused by diphtheria, which is a bacterial infection
What Causes Chronic Laryngitis?
Chronic laryngitis is defined as laryngitis that lasts longer than three weeks. More often than not, chornic laryngitis is caused by vocal cord injuries and strain. Vocal cord injury is caused by:
- GERD ( Acid Reflux)
- Chronic Sinusitis
- Excessive Smoking
- Overusing Vocal Cords while singing or yelling
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Diagnosing and Treating Laryngitis
Laryngitis can usually be diagnosed by a doctor noticing common symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, tickling in the throat, swollen lymph nodes and shortness of breath. Based on your symptoms, your physician can tell you the proper way to treat it. Most cases of laryngitis include resting the vocal cords, drinking a lot of fluids and avoiding smoking. In cases where laryngitis is caused by a viral infection, physicians might prescribe antibiotics to speed up healing.
Contact Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Dr. Stacy Silvers in New York City if you believe you have laryngitis.