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Laryngitis: What You Need to Know

Laryngitis: What You Need to Know Can

Laryngitis is the inflammation of your vocal cords or larynx. It can be the result of overuse, infection, or irritation. It is common to lose your voice when you have laryngitis, as well as experience painful scratchiness in the back of your throat and dryness.

If you have the symptoms of laryngitis, you should seek medical care to begin a treatment plan. It’s also critical to find out the cause of your illness to see if you’re contagious to others.

Here is what you need to know about laryngitis, if it’s contagious, and when to go to urgent care.

Is Your Sore Throat Laryngitis?

With something as simple as a sore throat, it can be challenging to determine whether it is laryngitis. However, laryngitis also usually appears with these additional symptoms:

  • Hoarseness or difficulty speaking
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Fever
  • Scratchy throat
  • Mucus or pus discharge
  • Bad smelling breath
  • Sharp pain when swallowing

If you have these symptoms, it is best to see a medical professional for a full exam. While these symptoms don’t necessarily mean you have laryngitis, they do warrant a provider’s opinion.

Is Laryngitis Contagious?

Laryngitis can be the result of multiple causes. Depending on what causes your laryngitis, you might be contagious. Laryngitis can be the result of overuse and tobacco use. In these cases, it will not spread to others.

Viral, bacterial, and fungal laryngitis are contagious. Viral laryngitis can go away on its own in a week or two without treatment. It is the most common cause of laryngitis and the least contagious of the three. You are most contagious with a fever.

Bacterial laryngitis is more contagious than viral. It typically requires antibiotics to resolve it completely. Fungal laryngitis is also more contagious than viral and results from a yeast infection in the larynx.

Most cases of laryngitis resolve in about a week. Symptoms worsen in the first few days and slowly resolve over the week. Hoarseness takes time to heal and will typically stay on after the illness.

Chronic laryngitis can occur when the larynx is permanently damaged. This can be from chronic cigarette smoke exposure, long-term sinus inflammation, alcohol overuse, chemical inhalation, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or vocal cord overuse.

Laryngitis Treatment

Your treatment for laryngitis depends on the cause. A viral infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because the medication cannot fight viruses. However, if it is the result of an infection, it will likely need oral antibiotics. A case of fungal laryngitis typically requires antifungal therapy.

Some ways to speed up your recovery include cutting back on smoking, coffee, and alcohol. Drink plenty of water and use lozenges to help with throat irritation.

If your laryngitis results from overuse, rest your voice and avoid talking for a few days. It will help ease your pain and help your voice return quickly.

If you have laryngitis symptoms, it’s critical to get a proper diagnosis. Speak with your provider right away to start your treatment and feel better.

Patient Plus Urgent Care – Get in, Get better.

When you’re sick or injured, whether routine or urgent, quality medical care should be easy to find and available when you need it. That’s the idea behind Patient Plus Urgent Care, with convenient locations in Baton Rouge, Hammond, Prairieville, & Brusly.

Patient Plus treats most common illnesses and injuries — the sniffles, rashes, fevers, aches, breaks, and other conditions that deserve prompt treatment but aren’t serious enough to require a trip to the nearest emergency room. The clinics provide complete diagnostic services, including X-rays, EKGs, and flu and strep tests. Other services include physicals, vaccinations, and more. Patient Plus clinics are open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and patients never need to call first or make an appointment.

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