Laryngitis is the inflammation of the larynx or “voice-box”. Laryngitis maybe short-term, in which case it shouldn’t last more than 2 weeks or longer. If it lasts more than that, then it is chronic Laryngitis. Also called laryngeal inflammation, it is a very common condition in India, with more than 10 million reported cases every year. It is communicable and spreads by touch, through airborne respiratory droplets and even touching an infected surface. It is more common in middle age and affects more men than women.
The main symptom of Laryngitis is hoarse, raspy voice due to the inflammation of the voice box, other symptoms include:
- Sore throat
- Frequent coughing
- Throat congestion
- Difficulty swallowing
- Increased saliva production
- Swelling and discomfort in the front part of the neck
- Muscle pain
When to see a doctor?
See a doctor if you or your loved ones experience any of the above mentioned symptoms. Always trust premier institutions like Paras Hospitals Group, which have specialized departments for the treatment and care of such conditions.
Causes and Risk Factors
Laryngitis may arise from a variety of causes, which may be infectious in nature (viral, bacterial or fungal), or non-infectious, which may happen due to trauma such as excessive yelling, screaming or singing, due to allergies, due to an acid reflux or due to an auto-immune disease.
Risk factors include:
- Having a respiratory infection
- Exposure to substances like cigarette smoke, excessive alcohol, stomach acid, or work place chemicals which irritate the larynx
- Recent radiotherapy near the neck region
Treatments and Management
Treatments vary depending on the cause of the inflammation. For non-infectious causes like trauma, treatment includes:
- Resting your voice
- Drinking sufficient amounts of water
- Stopping smoking
In case of infectious causes like bacteria, virus or fungi, treatment includes:
- Medication for pain
- Mucolytics (for frequent coughing)
- Remedies like tea and honey
- Anti-biotics (only for bacterial infection)
- Oral antifungal tablets or solutions (for fungal infection only)
Acid reflux should be avoided by wearing loose clothing, eating small, frequent meals, and avoiding foods like caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods.