What are the symptoms of Laryngitis?
- Swollen lymph nodes or glands in the neck
What causes Laryngitis? The voice box (larynx) is located at the top of the airway to the lungs (trachea). The larynx contains the vocal cords. When the vocal cords become inflamed or infected, they swell. This can cause hoarseness, and may sometimes block the airway.
The most common form of laryngitis is an infection caused by a virus. It may also be caused by:
- Bacterial infection
- Common cold
- Irritants and chemicals
Laryngitis often occurs with an upper respiratory infection.
Several forms of laryngitis occur in children that can lead to dangerous or fatal respiratory blockage. These forms include:
When to seek urgent medical care?
Call your health care provider if:
- A small child who is not teething has difficulty breathing, swallowing, or is drooling
- A child less than 3 months old has hoarseness
- Hoarseness has lasted for more than 1 week in a child, or 2 weeks in an adult
A physical examination can determine whether hoarseness is caused by a respiratory tract infection. Patients with lasting hoarseness (especially smokers) will need to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor (otolaryngologist) for tests of the throat and upper airway.
Because most common laryngitis is caused by a virus, antibiotics may not help. Your health care provider will make this decision.Resting your voice helps by reducing inflammation of the vocal cords. A humidifier may soothe the scratchy feeling that comes with laryngitis. Decongestants and painkillers may relieve the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, if you have one.