World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Endoscopic image of inflamed larynx caused by acid reflux.
Classification and external resources
Specialty Otorhinolaryngology
ICD-10 J04.0, J37.0
ICD-9-CM 464.0-464.4, 476.0-476.1
DiseasesDB 29347
MedlinePlus 001385
eMedicine ent/353 ent/354
MeSH D007827

Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx. It causes hoarse voice or temporary complete loss of the voice because of irritation to the vocal folds (vocal cords). Dysphonia is the medical term for a vocal disorder, of which laryngitis is one cause.

Laryngitis is categorised as acute if it lasts less than three weeks and chronic if it last over three weeks. The chronic form occurs mostly in middle age and is much more common in men than women. Antibiotics do not appear to be very useful in the acute form.[1]


  • Signs and symptoms 1
  • Causes 2
    • Noninfectious 2.1
    • Infectious 2.2
  • Diagnosis 3
  • Treatment 4
  • Prognosis 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Signs and symptoms

In early stages, erythema (reddening) and edema of epiglottis, aryepiglottic folds, arytenoids and ventricular folds occurs. In late stages, the vocal folds and subglottic structures are also involved. There are sticky secretions between cords and in interarytenoid region. Sometimes, submucous hemorrhage is seen, especially in case of vocal abuse. Acute membranous laryngitis, a condition resembling acute membranous tonsillitis, is caused by pyogenic nonspecific organisms. It has to be differentiated from laryngeal diphtheria. In some cases tightening of the chest may be present due to COPD or other relevant breathing disorder.


Laryngitis can be infectious as well as noninfectious in origin.


  • Acid reflux disease, resulting in laryngitis gastrica
  • Allergies
  • Excessive coughing, smoking, or alcohol consumption.
  • Inflammation due to overuse of the vocal cords[2][3][4][5][6]
  • Prolonged use of inhaled corticosteroids for asthma treatment
  • Thermal or chemical burns
  • Laryngeal trauma, including iatrogenic one caused by endotracheal intubation


Laryngitis can occasionally lead to pneumonia, either viral pneumonia or bacterial pneumonia.


  • Acute laryngitis
  • Chronic laryngitis
    • Granulomatous laryngitis
    • Pseudomyxomatous laryngitis


  • General measures: Voice rest is important.[7] Steam inhalations with tincture of benzoin or oil of pine or eucalyptus help loosen secretions. Cough suppressants are sometimes given to reduce cough. For a severely inflamed larynx, a humidifier or vaporizer is used to moisten the air inhaled by person.
  • If laryngitis gastroesophageal reflux, an H2-inhibitor (such as ranitidine) or proton-pump inhibitor (such as omeprazole) is used to reduce gastric acid secretions.
  • If laryngitis is caused by thermal or chemical burns, steroids are used.
  • In viral laryngitis, drinking sufficient fluids is helpful.
  • If laryngitis is due to a bacterial or fungal infection, appropriate antibiotic or antifungal therapy is given.
  • If persistent hoarseness or loss of voice (dysphonia) is a result of vocal cord nodules, physicians may recommend a course of treatment that may include a surgical procedure and/or speech therapy.

Antibiotics do not appear to be very useful.[1]


Most cases of laryngitis are viral and resolve without treatment with sufficient voice rest. Laryngitis, hoarseness, or breathiness that lasts for more than two weeks may signal a voice disorder and should be followed up with a voice pathologist. This is typically a vocology certified SLP (speech language pathologist) or a laryngologist (voice specialized ENT).


  1. ^ a b Reveiz, L; Cardona, AF (23 May 2015). "Antibiotics for acute laryngitis in adults.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews 5: CD004783.  
  2. ^ Titze IR, Lemke J, Montequin D (1997). "Populations in the U.S. workforce who rely on voice as a primary tool of trade: a preliminary report". J Voice 11 (3): 254–9.  
  3. ^ Popolo PS, Svec JG, Titze IR (2005). "Adaptation of a Pocket PC for use as a wearable voice dosimeter". J. Speech Lang. Hear. Res. 48 (4): 780–91.  
  4. ^ Titze IR, Hunter EJ, Svec JG (2007). "Voicing and silence periods in daily and weekly vocalizations of teachers". J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 121 (1): 469–78.  
  5. ^ Nix J, Svec JG, Laukkanen AM, Titze IR (2007). "Protocol challenges for on-the-job voice dosimetry of teachers in the United States and Finland". J Voice 21 (4): 385–96.  
  6. ^ Carroll T, Nix J, Hunter E, Emerich K, Titze I, Abaza M (2006). "Objective measurement of vocal fatigue in classical singers: a vocal dosimetry pilot study". Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 135 (4): 595–602.  
  7. ^ Laryngitis - Treatment NHS Choices

External links

  • Laryngitis at DMOZ
  • Mayo Clinic
  • University of Maryland Medical Center
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.