Laryngitis

(Hoarse Voice) Respiratory Conditions
Laryngitis is inflammation of the voice box (larynx) causing hoarseness. It is usually caused by a viral infection such as a cold. Other causes include excessive talking, yelling, or singing; smoking; and reflux of stomach acid into the voice-box area. In most cases, the voice box heals in seven to ten days.

Prevention

  • Rest your voice as soon as you start to feel hoarse
  • Avoid smoking

Treatment

Home care   Home Care

  • Rest your voice. Do not yell or sing and avoid talking, including whispering, as much as possible
  • Avoid smoking
  • Treat your cold symptoms (see “Colds”) if you feel that you have a cold associated with hoarseness
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Drink warm liquids to soothe the throat
  • Take Tylenol® or Advil® for sore-throat pain
  • Treat any heartburn (see “Heart burn”) symptoms
  • Treat any allergies (see “Allergies/hay fever”) you may be experiencing

 

Professional care   Professional Care

Seek medical attention if:

  • You develop high fever, chills, or other signs of bacterial infection
  • You have night sweats or are losing weight
  • The hoarseness persists for more than two weeks
  • You experience breathing difficulty with hoarseness
  • You develop hoarseness lasting several days absent any apparent trigger