What is laryngitis?

As already mentioned, laryngitisis an infection or irritation in the larynx, and can be brief (acute) or persistent (chronic). This is becausethe vocal cords become inflamed, causing a total or partial loss of voice.

To highlight: A study that was published by theSpanish Association of Primary Care Pediatrics, defines laryngitis as aninfection in the upper airways, which would be the pharynx, oral cavity and nose, where clinical symptoms such as cough and dysphonia occur. (1)

Types of laryngitis

There are2 types of laryngitis, which are “acute” and “chronic”. In these there is aninflammation in the larynx or vocal cords, manifesting a series of symptoms that are very similar, but that differ by their treatment and healing time.


Acute laryngitis is an inflammation of the vocal cords, which are located in the lower part of the throat (pharynx). It is considered as adisease that generally affects childrenbetween 6 months and 6 years of age. It is also known as viral laryngitis.

Note: A study published at the University Clinical Hospital of Valladolid in Spain mentions that acute laryngitis is a clinical syndrome caused by infection or obstruction of the larynx, mainly causing barking cough, dysphonia and hoarseness. (two)


Chronic laryngitis is a disease that can last 3 weeks or morein a person. This is generally caused byprolonged inflammation of the larynx and can affect anyone, although it is more common in middle-aged men.

Important: A study that was carried out at the Virgen de la Salud Hospital, in the city of Toledo, Spain, explains that chronic laryngitis is an inflammation of the laryngeal mucosa with more than 15 days of evolution, whose main symptom is the dysphonia (3)

Causes of laryngitis

Laryngitis can have several reasons, which lead to a temporary inflammation of the larynx, causing annoying symptoms that prevent normal activities. Therefore, keep in mind the following causes that can cause it:

Viral, bacterial and parasitic infections

One of the main causes of laryngitis are viral, bacterial or parasitic infectionstag. This can be induced bybronchitis, the common flu, pneumonia, diphtheria , among others, being in most cases short-lived and quick to heal.

Similarly, laryngitis can be caused by some bacteria such as Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Streptococcus pneumoniae , which are responsible for generating respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, affecting various organs and areas such as the pharynx.

Note: Another of the agents that Can cause laryngitis are fungi , such as Candida albicans , for which it is recommended to keep the home clean, avoid being exposed to leaks, change the bed sheets every 10 days, and not frequent places with too much humidity.

allergies and injuries

Laryngitis can also be caused by allergic reactions suchas rhinitis or hay fever, where there is a sore or itchy throat. Similarly, it can be caused by injuries such as tonsillitis.

Irritating substances

Another of the common causes of laryngitis are substances that can be irritating, these can be the excessive consumption of alcohol or cigarettes that constantly irritate the areas and mucous membranes of the throat, due to the toxic actions of their components.

Note: Very Spicy Food can cause laryngitis, so it is advisable to avoid spicy foods or spices such as cloves, curry or cumin if you suffer from a sore throat, as they can end up irritating it much more.

Excessive use of voice

Laryngitis has as one of the most common causes, the excessive use of the voice. Abusing the vocal cords can cause inflammation , therefore, actions of shouting, forcing the voice, clearing the throat or talking excessively should be avoided as much as possible.

Gastroesophageal reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux can cause laryngitis in people,since it turns out to be a symptom of this type of disease. This is becausestomach acid often flows into the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, irritating the esophagus.

Symptoms of laryngitis

Laryngitis presents a series of symptoms that turn out to be very harmful , especially for those people who require the use of their voice on a mandatory basis, such as waiters, announcers, singers, teachers or customer service employees.

Sore throat and cough

The Main symptom that occurswhen suffering from laryngitis is a sore throat and frequent coughing. Thisis due to the irritability of the larynx, making it an annoying problem when eating or speaking.

voice changes

Another of the main symptoms of laryngitis are the alterations that the voice may suffer , since there may be a decrease in the intensity of the sound or the total lossof it, which is known as aphonia. Frequent hoarseness may also occur

Note: A study conducted at the University of Chile on acute laryngitis or viral croup mentions that the main symptoms of this infection are cough and dysphonia , thus confirming that a decrease in the sound of the voice may occur. (4)

Fever and nasal congestion

Fever and nasal congestion can also present as symptomswhen suffering from laryngitis, especially in the first days. Being able to weaken the body or prevent specific activities naturally, due to the great discomfort it causes.

Swollen Lymph Nodes

The inflammation of the lymph nodes is generally caused by an infection, in this case laryngitis. This is because they play an essential role in fighting infections, thus preventing them from infecting other parts of the body.

The symptom that can occur due to having swollen lymph nodes are sensitivity and pain where these are located , most of which are located in the head and neck, also in the armpits and groin.

Difficulty breathing

Laryngitis causes as a symptom, although very rare, difficulty breathing, often caused by an alteration in the pharyngeal mucosa. This happens mostly at night and when children are agitated or angry, when their breathing becomes faster than normal.

Treatment for laryngitis

Because laryngitis is one of the infections that turns out to be harmful for many people due to the symptoms it can cause, it becomes necessary to search for a treatment that counteracts them until a speedy recovery.

Drugs prescribed by a specialist

One of the main actions to treat laryngitis is the use of drugs prescribed by a specialist. Thesecan be painkillers, anti-inflammatories or antacids , all depending on the situation and what the doctor considers most appropriate.

To highlight: In the event that laryngitis is caused by a bacterium such as Streptococcus pyogenes , which directly attacks the throat, a doctor should be visited in order to provide a treatment to combat it, since it can cause other complications.

Rest your voice

It is absolutely necessary to rest the voice, in order to relieve irritation of the vocal cords and obtain a faster recovery. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid talking or shouting excessively.

Tip: Rest and calm moods are also advisable.

drink enough liquid

It is advisable to drink plenty of fluids, especially water to be sufficiently hydrated , so that the mucosa of the larynx does not become thick to avoid dryness and maintain healthy humidity.

Keep the Air Moist

Air humidification helps nasal relief congestion,since it serves to dissolve mucus and be able to expectorate. This can be accomplished byPlacing just one electronic humidifier within the room or placing it in a general spot in the house.

Take steam inhalations

Another recommendation to treat patients with laryngitis is to perform steam inhalations, as these help relieve asthma, coughs, common colds and sore throats , which can be very useful to alleviate symptoms that may occur.

Tip: Inhale steam 2 times a day and you will get good results for nasal congestion, unclog the nose, and of course relieve laryngitis, chronic sinusitis, and pharyngitis.

Avoid alcohol, tobacco and irritating substances

It is absolutely necessary to avoid the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and irritating substances , since they can return laryngitis to a chronic state, thus worsening the symptoms that may be suffered and considerably slow down the recovery time.

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