Laryngitis is a condition in which there is inflammation vocal folds causing hoarseness. Laryngitis typically occurs with voice overuse during or after a cold or upper respiratory infection. However, laryngitis can be due to a number of causes including allergies, post nasal drip, reflux, fungus, or other infections.
When the vocal folds are swollen, they are unable to vibrate normally which results in production of a hoarse voice.
The first line management for laryngitis is voice rest. While it may be possible to force the voice to be normal of push the voice, this may be harmful. During these times it is best to remain properly hydrated and continue with proper nutrition.
Laryngitis, or any voice problem, that lasts for more than a few weeks should be evaluated by an otolaryngologist. Laryngoscopy with stobosccopy is the best tool to analyze this condition to evaluate for vocal fold disorders. Recurrent laryngitis may signify a more serious condition that should be addressed.
If you experience recurrent laryngitis and would like treatment please contact Dr. Sunil Verma, director of the University Voice and Swallowing Center, at (714) 456-7017 for an appointment.