What is laryngitis?
Laryngitis is the most common cause of hoarseness or voice loss that comes on suddenly. Usually, laryngitis is caused by a viral infection that produces an inflammation of the vocal cords. When it happens, the vocal cords no longer vibrate normally. The result of this irregular vibrating is hoarseness or complete voice loss. Acute laryngitis usually clears up on its own with rest and hydration. If vocal cord dysfunction lasts for an extended period of time or is severe, it may be a sign of chronic laryngitis.
How is laryngitis treated?
While acute laryngitis usually clears up on its own, sometimes the condition does not go away or is recurring. In these cases, the laryngitis is most likely due to an underlying condition. Typical causes of chronic laryngitis include:
- Acid reflux disease
- Yeast infection of the vocal cords (in those who use asthma inhalers)
- Environmental conditions
- Second hand smoke
- Poor air quality
- Other infections
In order to adequately treat chronic laryngitis, a patient should visit an experienced ear, nose and throat practice, such as New York ENT to get an accurate diagnosis of the ailment and possible underlying conditions.
What does laryngitis treatment involve?
Chronic laryngitis treatment will vary, depending on the underlying condition that is being treated. A New York ENT doctor can help you decide the best treatment for laryngitis for you.
Acid Reflux Disease
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, occurs when stomach acid enters the throat and causes irritation. It can cause recurring hoarseness that does not seem to go away. Treating GERD can diminish the conditions associated with chronic laryngitis.
Yeast Infection of the Vocal Cords
Occasionally, patients who use asthma inhalers can develop a yeast infection on the vocal cords. This low grade infection can cause laryngitis to occur repeatedly, until the yeast infection is resolved. Consult New York ENT doctors for recommended treatment options for yeast infections of the vocal cords.
Patients who suffer from repeat cases of laryngitis within a short period of time may be reacting to environmental conditions, such as second hand smoke, chemicals, or air pollution. Doctors may recommend lifestyle changes that will limit the exposure to these environmental conditions.
Other throat infections can also be the cause of repeated inflammation of the vocal cords or hoarseness. Seek advice from an ear, nose and throat expert, such as New York ENT, in order to get an accurate diagnosis of your underlying condition.
If you are suffering from laryngitis, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience in laryngitis treatment. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.