Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx). Causes of laryngitis include upper respiratory infection or cold; overuse of the voice box by talking, singing, or shouting; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD),reflux laryngitis; chronic irritation of the vocal cords; smoking; exposure to secondhand smoke; or exposure to polluted air. Laryngitis is contagious only if it is caused by an infection.
- The most common symptoms of laryngitis are hoarseness, loss of voice, and throatpain.
- Symptoms of laryngitis in adults include dry,sore throat, pain with swallowing, and a feeling of fullness in the throat or neck. If the laryngitis is caused by an infection additional symptoms of fever, swollen lymph nodes, may be experienced.
- Symptoms of laryngitis in infants in children include croup, hoarse barky cough, and fever.
- Chronic laryngitis, in which the symptoms last for weeks may be caused by by gastroesophageal reflux disease, smoking, constant exposure to secondhand smoke, air pollution, or alcohol use.
- Chronic inflammation due to laryngitis may cause the formation of nodules or polyps on the vocal cords.
- Treatment of laryngitis is usually symptomatic with voice rest, humidified air, and certain home remedies for symptom relief.
- If symptoms of laryngitis persist for more than three weeks or continue to recur, contact your health care professional for further evaluation.
- Complications of laryngitis from GERD include pneumonia,chronic bronchitis, and vocal cord paralysis