If you have noticed that your voice sounds weak or raspy when talking with friends or while ordering lunch at Wade’s Restaurant, you may have laryngitis.
Common Laryngitis Symptoms
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the vocal cords or voice box. In addition to a weakened voice, other symptoms of laryngitis may include:
- Complete loss of voice
- Dry throat or tickle in the throat
- Dry cough
Laryngitis typically lasts three to seven days. If your symptoms last three weeks or less, it’s considered acute laryngitis. If they last longer than that, it’s considered chronic.
Can Anyone Get Laryngitis?
Both adults and children can develop laryngitis. Various illnesses and environmental factors can cause laryngitis. Some of the more common causes include:
- Viral infections
- Straining your voice through yelling, singing, or speaking
- Bacterial or fungal infections
- Smoking or vaping or exposure to cigarette smoke
- Acid reflux (GERD)
- Certain autoimmune disorders
- Some inhaled medications
- Frequent sinus infections
Is Laryngitis Ever Serious?
Most cases of laryngitis are not serious. However, you should visit a doctor if your symptoms are persistent or bothersome to rule out other causes, such as lesions on the vocal cords or in rare cases, certain types of cancer.
Always seek medical attention if you develop any of the following:
- Difficulty swallowing
- A fever that doesn’t go away
- Coughing up blood
- Severe pain in your throat
- Difficulty breathing
Treating your laryngitis will depend, at least partly, on the cause. If your case was caused by a viral infection, your symptoms will likely clear up on their own within a week. Your doctor will encourage you to rest your voice and may recommend some at-home remedies to help alleviate your symptoms such as:
- Stay hydrated
- Use a humidifier
- Gargle warm salt water
- Suck on lozenges
Additional treatments or recommendations may include:
- Antibiotics (in rare instances of a bacterial infection causing laryngitis)
- Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation
- Vocal therapy with a speech pathologist to teach you ways to put less strain on your voice
- Treating acid reflux and avoiding any foods that cause symptoms
If you would like additional information or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists to discuss any voice issues, call Spartanburg | Greer ENT & Allergy today.