What Is the Diagnosis and Treatment of Laryngitis?

Q:
What is the diagnosis and treatment of laryngitis?

A:
The most common sign of laryngitis is hoarseness. If you have chronic hoarseness, your doctor may want to listen to your voice and to examine your vocal cords, and he or she may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist.

Acute laryngitis often gets better on its own within a week or so. Self-care measures also can help improve symptoms.

Chronic laryngitis treatments are aimed at treating the underlying causes, such as heartburn, smoking or excessive use of alcohol. Medications used in some cases include:

  • Antibiotics. In almost all cases of laryngitis, an antibiotic won’t do any good because the cause is usually viral. But if you have a bacterial infection, your doctor may recommend an antibiotic.
  • Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids can help reduce vocal cord inflammation. However, this treatment is used only when there’s an urgent need to treat laryngitis — for example, when you need to use your voice to sing or give a speech or oral presentation.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.