Laryngitis is characterized by irritated or an enlarged voice box or vocal cords in the throat. The condition typically settles within 1-2 weeks.
Do I have laryngitis?
The condition generally occurs abruptly and worsens during the initial 3 days.
The usual signs include the following:
- Hoarse voice
- Sore throat
- Loss of voice in some cases
- Continuous urge or need to clear the throat
- Irritating cough that does not subside
The condition is often associated to other ailments such as the flu or common cold, thus other symptoms might also be present.
What are the causes?
Laryngitis usually manifests once an infection from a virus develop such as the flu or common cold. A flu shot can help in preventing the flu.
Other usual causes include:
- Allergies to fumes and dust
- Chronic coughing
- Clearing the throat continuously
- Acid reflux
Luckily, the condition settles on its own after 1-2 weeks and there is no need to consult a doctor.
Some of these measures include:
- Increase the intake of fluids
- Allow the voice to rest by speaking as minimally as possible
- Always keep the air moist by using a humidifier since central heating and air condition can dry up the air
- Gargle using warm salty water
- Avoid talking loudly or whispering since it can strain the voice as well as smoking or drinking large amounts of alcohol or caffeine.
When to consult a doctor
A doctor must be seen if:
- The symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks
- There is difficulty or pain when swallowing
- Laryngitis or voice issues are recurrent
A doctor should be seen as soon as possible if a child is having trouble breathing.