Laryngitis Causes and Treatment

Laryngitis is when the voice box, or larynx, becomes inflamed. This causes your voice to be raspy and hoarse. Most of the time, it doesn't last more than two weeks. However, in some cases laryngitis can last longer than two weeks, in which case it's considered to be chronic.

Causes of Laryngitis

Laryngitis is usually a side effect of another illness, such as:

  • Cold or flu

  • Acid reflux

  • Allergies or irritants

In other cases, laryngitis is brought on by environmental factors, like overuse of your voice and improper singing techniques.

Diagnosis of Laryngitis

Initially you may go to your primary care physician who will give you a physical exam to feel you neck. Your doctor will check for lumps or tenderness and check your nose, mouth and throat.

If the symptoms are bad enough or have been going on longer than two weeks, you may be referred to an otolaryngologist like Dr. Scott Franklin. He will do a more in-depth exam that will look closely at your vocal cords to see what they look like.

Treatment for Laryngitis

For most patients, home remedy is the common treatment for laryngitis and you larynx will heal over time. Some remedies include:

  • Resting your vocal cords

  • Drinking plenty of liquid (while avoiding alcohol and caffeine)

  • Use a humidifier to breathe moist air

  • Moisten your throat by eating lozenges, gargling salt water or chewing gum

  • Avoid clearing your throat

If Dr. Franklin thinks symptoms are worse or you have chronic laryngitis, he may prescribe medication to treat it. This is usually the case if GERD, or acid reflux, is the cause of your laryngitis.

If you have any questions about laryngitis, please call Dr. Franklin at (512) 869-0604