Laryngitis vs. Hoarseness

By: Kelly Warf, Au.D.
Sanjeev Balamohan, M.D.

What is Laryngitis?

Laryngitis refers to a temporary inflammation of the vocal cords and surrounding tissue, resulting in loss of voice or hoarseness, and frequent throat clearing. Cases can progress to chronic laryngitis, where permanent damage to the vocal cords may result.

Causes of laryngitis include:

  • yelling or screaming
  • viral or bacterial infection in larynx
  • acid reflux/GERD
  • sinusitis
  • excessive alcohol use
  • smoking (and secondhand smoke)
  • inhaling irritants (e.g. toxic fumes or allergens)

Minimize your risk by staying hydrated, keeping allergies under control, and managing acid reflux. If you have a prolonged cough or sinus symptoms, call to schedule an appointment with an ENT physician so we can help you better manage symptoms and prevent permanent damage. If lesions are found on your larynx, a biopsy may be recommended.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, please schedule an appointment with us today so we can determine the underlying cause and create a treatment plan. Schedule your appointment at the Ear, Nose, and Throat Center today. Call 847-685-1000

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