ABC Medical Center > Laryngitis

What is Laryngitis?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It occurs when the larynx becomes inflamed and irritated due to a viral or bacterial infection, or from talking too much and straining the vocal cords.

When they function normally, the vocal cords have a smooth opening and closing movement, allowing sound articulation through the vibrations emitted.

When there is laryngitis, the inflamed vocal cords cause vibrational distortion, affecting the sound emission and altering the tone of voice, making it deeper or, in serious cases, causing total aphonia.

Most of the time, laryngitis is usually temporary and harmless, but there are cases in which it becomes chronic and may be a manifestation of some harmful habit, or certain serious underlying conditions such as:

  • Nodules on the vocal cords.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Smoking.
  • Sinusitis.
  • Cancer.
  • Vocal cord injuries.

Signs and symptoms Laryngitis

Acute laryngitis usually lasts one to two weeks, although it can last longer and become chronic, suggesting that it is a serious illness symptom. The most frequent symptoms include:

  • Change in tone of voice, becoming deeper.
  • Partial or total aphonia.
  • Tickling in the throat.
  • Sore throat.
  • Dry throat.
  • Dry coughing fits.

See your doctor if the symptoms continue for more than two weeks; but if you have shortness of breath, cough up blood, and a persistent q fever, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis and treatment Laryngitis

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination that will include a laryngoscopy on your vocal cords, as well as taking a tissue biopsy to rule out the suspicion of any underlying condition.

The treatment to be followed in acute laryngitis consists of anti-inflammatories, painkillers, and antibiotics (in case of bacterial infection), with the recommendations to drink plenty of fluids, avoid talking as much as possible, stop smoking and consuming alcohol.

When it comes to chronic cases, in addition to controlling the symptoms, treatment focuses on attacking the direct cause of laryngitis.

How to prevent it

  • Do not smoke or passively expose yourself to tobacco smoke.
  • Reduce your alcohol and coffee intake.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid acidic or highly seasoned foods.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Do not expose yourself to drastic temperature changes, constantly perform hand hygiene, and do not go near people with respiratory infections.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.