What are larynx disorders?
A larynx disorder, or acute laryngitis, is caused by inflammation from an infection and is usually associated with an upper respiratory tract infection such as the common cold. Other common causes include vocal trauma from excessive or forceful us of the voice. Less commons causes include exposure to irritant fumes (smoke or chemical), gastric reflux, severe coughing or traumatic passage of an endotracheal tube.
Chronic laryngitis is caused by chronic inflammation of the vocal cords due to a variety of conditions acting on the larynx for an extended period of time. The most commons causes are:
- Continued vocal abuse.
- Excessive smoking, usually in combination with heavy drinking.
Diagnosis & Treatment Options
How are larynx disorders diagnosed?
Voice disorders may be caused by many different factors, events, physical ailments and disease. The vast majority of voice problems are caused by factors that are not life-threatening and that are easily treatable. Larynx disorders are diagnosed by:
- Physical exam and history.
- Laboratory tests.
How are larynx disorders treated?
Treatment is mainly supportive and includes:
- Strict voice rest.
- Increased fluid intake.
- Reduce exposure to irritants such as smoking.
- Humification of inspired air, especially in winter months.
Preparing for Care
When should I seek immediate care or call 911?
- Your throat is bleeding.
- You are hoarse for more than seven days and your chest feels tight.
- You have sudden trouble breathing.
- You have severe drooling or trouble swallowing.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
- You have a fever.
- You have large, tender lumps in your neck.
- Your hoarseness lasts longer than seven days.
- You have new or increased throat pain.