Laryngitis: When Your Voice Takes a Break | 2 min read

Discover the details of laryngitis, from its common causes to effective treatments and prevention strategies. Learn how to safeguard your vocal health and regain your voice.

Remember when you attended a rugby match and at the end of the game, you had lost your voice from cheering so hard? Or perhaps you were at a music festival, shouting all night just to be heard by your friends? Suddenly, after hours of vocal exertion, your voice disappeared. This is a common scenario for many who experience laryngitis.

What is Laryngitis?

Laryngitis is when your voice box (larynx) becomes irritated or swollen, affecting your speaking ability. This condition can be acute (short-term) or chronic (lasting longer than three weeks), and various factors can cause it.

Symptoms of Laryngitis

  • Hoarseness or loss of voice
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • A sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Fever (in some cases)

Causes of Laryngitis

  • Viral infections, such as the common cold or flu
  • Bacterial infections, like streptococcus or mycoplasma
  • Overuse or strain of the voice is common among singers, teachers, or those who shout frequently.
  • Irritants, such as smoke, pollutants, or allergens
  • Acid reflux, which can irritate the throat and voice box.

Treatment for Laryngitis

  • Rest your voice: Avoid talking or whispering excessively to allow your vocal cords to heal.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to moisten your throat and soothe irritation.
  • Humidify the air: A humidifier adds moisture, especially in dry environments.
  • Avoid irritants: Avoid smoke, pollutants, and other irritants exacerbating symptoms.
  • Over-the-counter remedies: Pain relievers and throat lozenges may help alleviate discomfort.
  • Prescription medications: In cases of bacterial infection or severe inflammation, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or steroids.

Read Next: Strep throat vs sore throat: How can you tell the difference?

When to See Your Doctor

Since laryngitis typically resolves spontaneously, many individuals do not require medical intervention. However, you should consult a healthcare professional if you have trouble breathing, swollen lymph nodes, or symptoms that persist beyond 10 days.

Prevention Tips

  1. Practice good vocal hygiene: Avoid shouting or speaking loudly for extended periods. Use amplification devices when addressing large crowds.
  2. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water daily to keep your vocal cords lubricated.
  3. Avoid irritants: Minimize exposure to smoke, pollutants, and allergens.
  4. Manage acid reflux: If you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), follow your doctor’s recommendations to manage symptoms and prevent throat irritation.

Laryngitis can be a temporary inconvenience or a chronic condition, depending on its underlying cause and how it’s managed. By understanding the symptoms, causes, treatments, and prevention strategies, you can take proactive steps to safeguard your vocal health and ensure your voice remains strong and clear. If you experience persistent or severe symptoms of laryngitis, consult your healthcare provider for proper evaluation and treatment.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and articles, competition announcements, and webinar dates.

Subscription successful.

Share this article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on linkedin

Schedule an Appointment

Intercare medical centres focus on routine, chronic and walk-in care as well as on patient wellness.

More on Medical

Yellow Fever Symptoms

Yellow fever

Yellow fever is a viral illness caused by the bite...