Washing your hands often and drinking plenty of fluids may help you avoid catching a cold or flu, which is often the underlying cause of laryngitis. If you doctor recommends it, get a flu shot. Chronic laryngitis, where it lasts for more than two weeks, can be avoided by staying away from things that irritate your throat. Steer clear of smoking, heavy drinking, and harsh chemicals. In addition, preserving your vocal chords by refraining from clearing your throat or straining it through singing or yelling should also help.