Laryngitis vs. Hoarseness

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

What is laryngitis and hoarseness?

Laryngitis is a condition that affects the larynx, where the vocal cords are located. It can result in a loss of voice and inflammation of surrounding tissue. If this condition is chronic, vocal cords can be permanently damaged which results in a raspy and hoarse voice.

Hoarseness is a symptom describing voice changes. The voice may sound breathy, raspy, or strained.

What causes laryngitis and hoarseness?

The inflammation of laryngitis may be caused by viral or bacteria infection, acid reflux, sinusitis, allergies, frequent smoking, or voice abuse (yelling).

Hoarseness can be caused by the common cold, upper respiratory tract infection, gastroesophageal reflux, allergies, thyroid problems, smoking, and voice abuse (yelling).

What are treatment options of laryngitis and hoarseness?

Hoarseness may go away on its own. However, you should seek medical attention if the symptom is ongoing (more than 2 weeks), worsens, causes difficulty breathing, or you develop a lump in your neck.

An in-office laryngoscopy or imaging scans may be recommended to visualize the throat and vocal cords to determine a treatment plan. Treatment may include antibiotics, lifestyle changes, vocal cord rest. Chronic laryngitis may lead to nodules and polyps which may be removed surgically.

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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