Laryngitis

Larynx:  the organ of voice; the air passage between the lower pharynx and the trachea, containing the vocal cords and formed by nine cartilages.

Laryngitis:  inflammation of the larynx

Acute laryngitis may occur as an isolated infection or as part of a generalized bacterial or viral upper respiratory tract infection. 

Cause:  Acute laryngitis results from infection, excessive use of the voice, inhalation of smoke and or fumes, and aspiration of caustic chemicals.
Chronic laryngitis results from upper respiratory tract infection such as, sinusitis, bronchitis, allergy, and nasal polyps. It is also associated with constant exposure to dust or other irritants, smoking, alcohol abuse, and mouth breathing.

Symptoms: 

Hoarseness
Pain - especially when swallowing and or speaking
Fever
Dry cough
Malaise
Laryngeal edema

Chronic laryngitis - A persistent cough

Treatment:

Resting the voice would be the primary treatment.

Analgesics and throat lozenges for pain - for viral infection

Antibiotic therapy - for bacterial infection

May require hospitalization - for severe, acute laryngitis

Occasionally, when laryngeal edema results in airway obstruction, a tracheotomy (incision of an opening into the trachea through the skin and the muscles of the neck) may be necessary.

In chronic laryngitis, effective treatment must eliminate the underlying cause.

Suggestion:  Patient should maintain adequate humidification by using a vaporizer or humidifier during the winter, by avoiding air conditioning during the summer (because it dehumidifies), by using medicated throat lozenges, and by not smoking.  Completing the prescribed antibiotic therapy.  Modification of predisposing habits.

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