1. What is laryngitis?
2. What causes laryngitis?
3. What are the main symptoms of laryngitis?
4. How can I help treat laryngitis at home?
5. What should I avoid doing if I have laryngitis?
6. How is laryngitis treated if home remedies are not helping?
7. When should I see a doctor?
8. What specialist should I see?
Laryngitis is the medical term used to refer to the inflammation of the voice box or vocal chords, often due to viral infection. Typically, the voice box will become swollen and irritated as a direct result of the inflammation in the throat area.
Typically, laryngitis is caused by viral infections such as cold or flu. Allergies, acid reflux and coughing over a prolonged period of time are also the main causes of laryngitis.
The main symptoms of laryngitis include:
Laryngitis will usually resolve on its own within one to two weeks. Effective home remedies to help treat and cure laryngitis include:
- drinking plenty of fluids
- avoiding speaking whenever possible
- gargling with warm salty water
There are many things a patient should avoid doing if they are suffering from laryngitis, such as:
- avoid talking loudly or whispering
- avoid smoking
- avoid spending time in dusty spaces
- avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol
Patients should seek the medical advice of a pharmacist if they do not see an improvement in symptoms. A pharmacist will typically recommend patients suffering from laryngitis symptoms the following:
- ibuprofen or paracetamol
- cough syrup
- throat lozenges
Patients should see their GP if they are experiencing any of the following:
- symptoms of laryngitis have not improved after two weeks
- difficulty swallowing or if it is extremely painful to swallow
- persistent suffering of laryngitis symptoms and/or voice problems
Patients suffering from laryngitis symptoms should consult with their local family doctor first. After this consultation, the patient will then typically be referred to an otolaryngologist.