Laryngitis Symptoms

  • Symptoms

    The most common symptoms of laryngitis are hoarseness and loss of voice Table 01. Other symptoms include a raw throat, a dry cough, a tickling sensation in the back of the throat, and a constant need to clear the throat. The severity of inflammation determines the severity of symptoms. In more severe cases, symptoms may include pain, fever, difficulty swallowing, and general malaise. Severe swelling of the vocal cords may cause difficulty breathing. In chronic laryngitis, persistent hoarseness may be the only symptom.

    Table 1.  Symptoms of Laryngitis

    Common Symptoms
    Hoarseness or loss of voice
    Raw throat
    Dry cough
    Tickling sensation in the throat
    Persistent need to clear the throat
    Symptoms of severe inflammation
    Pain
    Fever
    Difficulty swallowing
    Difficulty breathing
    General malaise
  • Risk Factors

    Persistent exposure to smoke or other irritants may result in chronic laryngitis. Constant exposure to smoke, dust, or other chemical irritants may cause chronic inflammation of the vocal cords. Heavy alcohol consumption can similarly irritate the linings of the mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus. Chronic inflammation of the vocal cords can cause them to thicken, changing the nature of the voice, and increasing a person's risk of other complications.

    Laryngitis is an occupational hazard in some professions in which the voice is used extensively, including teaching, singing, or public speaking. If you have an occupation that requires heavy use of your voice, you are at risk of developing laryngitis. Even if you don't yell during the day, excessive or strenuous talking of the sort required in teaching, or working with hearing-impaired individuals, can lead to laryngitis over time.

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