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Should I be worried about laryngitis?

Abie H. Mendelsohn, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)
Laryngitis is felt either as loss of voice and/or throat pain. Laryngitis that occurs over the span of a few days is termed acute and may be caused by a viral infection or voice abuse. However, laryngitis that lasts for at least two weeks is now termed chronic. Chronic laryngitis most often is caused by irritation of the voice box, conditions including vocal fold nodules, vocal fold swelling (edema) and irritation from acid reflux. A very small percentage of chronic laryngitis episodes are from throat cancer. Therefore, anyone who suffers from laryngitis more than two weeks should undergo endoscopic examination of the throat and voice box.
 
 

In many cases, laryngitis is not serious and is not cause for alarm. Many cases go away by themselves within a few days. However, if the laryngitis does not get better in two weeks, or if the patient is a young child, there may be a serious underlying cause. In those cases, it is best to seek a doctor's care.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.