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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is laryngitis?

Laryngitis is inflammation of your larynx (voice box). The larynx holds your vocal cords. Your vocal cords usually open and close easily to form sounds. With laryngitis, your vocal cords swell and become irritated. This may change how your voice sounds, or you may lose your voice for a short while.

What causes laryngitis?

What are the signs and symptoms of laryngitis?

How is laryngitis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider may ask about your symptoms and examine your throat. He or she may use a light and tiny mirror to see your vocal cords. Instead, a thin, flexible tube may be inserted through your mouth to the back of your throat. This is called a laryngoscopy. Sometimes, a small sample of tissue from the area is needed. This is called a biopsy. The tissue sample is sent to a lab for tests.

How is laryngitis treated?

Laryngitis usually gets better on its own within 1 to 2 weeks. Medicines such as steroids or antibiotics may be used in some cases.

How can I manage my symptoms?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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