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Laryngitis – it’s that uncomfortable, sometimes raspy feeling that renders your voice unrecognizable and can make swallowing a chore. Here at Julie Zweig, MD Integrative Sleep & ENT, we often field numerous questions about this condition. To bring clarity to our community, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about laryngitis, along with their answers.

1. What is laryngitis?

Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx (voice box). It causes hoarseness and, in some cases, voice loss. The larynx contains our vocal cords, and when they become inflamed or irritated, it affects our ability to speak.

2. What causes laryngitis?

Several factors can lead to laryngitis, including:

  • Viral infections (like a cold or the flu)
  • Vocal strain (shouting, singing loudly)
  • Bacterial infections (though less common)
  • Acid reflux
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Allergies
  • Smoking or exposure to smoke
  • Breathing in irritants, such as chemical fumes

3. How long does laryngitis last?

Laryngitis can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Acute laryngitis typically lasts less than three weeks, often clearing up within a week. If symptoms persist for more than three weeks, it’s classified as chronic laryngitis, and you should seek medical attention.

4. How is laryngitis treated?

Treatment depends on the cause:

  • Viral laryngitis usually doesn’t require medication and resolves on its own.
  • Bacterial laryngitis may require antibiotics.
  • For acid reflux-induced laryngitis, antacids or other reflux medications might be recommended.
  • General recommendations include resting your voice, staying hydrated, using a humidifier, and avoiding smoking or inhaling irritants.

5. Can laryngitis be prevented?

While not all cases of laryngitis can be prevented, some steps to reduce your risk include:

  • Avoiding smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Staying hydrated to keep your vocal cords moist
  • Avoiding clearing your throat frequently
  • Using a microphone if you need to raise your voice
  • Seeking treatment if you often have acid reflux

6. When should I see a doctor?

You should reach out if:

  • Symptoms persist for more than two weeks
  • You have difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • The laryngitis is accompanied by a high fever
  • You’re coughing up blood
  • You frequently get laryngitis

Dr. Julie Zweig offers a holistic, integrative approach to ENT issues, ensuring you receive comprehensive care tailored to your specific needs. If you have concerns about laryngitis or any other ENT-related conditions, please visit our clinic in Alpharetta, GA or explore our website for more information.

Posted on behalf of Julie Zweig, MD

2650 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite 510
Alpharetta, GA 30022

Phone: (404) 255-4080
FAX: (404) 990-3542

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2650 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite 510
Alpharetta, GA 30022

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