What is it?
Laryngitis is a general term meaning inflammation of the larynx (or voice box). Patients typically notice this inflammation when it affects the vocal folds, leading to raspy, strained voices with frequent pitch breaks. Sometimes patients speak with a whisper. Laryngitis can be acute, meaning symptoms have been present for days, or chronic, meaning that symptoms have been present for weeks or more. Laryngitis can be due to viruses, bacteria, fungi, radiation therapy, or other irritants, such as cigarette smoke or environmental exposures.
How is it treated?
Laryngitis treatment depends on the underlying etiology. Some disorders, such as viral laryngitis, are treated with supportive measures as the natural course eventually resolves. Others, such as fungal laryngitis, require medical therapy.