Laryngitis

Doctor checks patients throat for laryngitis

Laryngitis is an infection of the larynx (voice box or Adam’s apple) at the front of the throat, which contains the vocal cords that are responsible for speech. Hoarseness or total loss of voice may occur, with associated pain, difficulty in swallowing, a dry cough and a fever.

Almost invariably it is a viral infection and cannot be cured by antibiotics. Time, voice rest, aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications are used to reduce inflammation and swelling of the vocal cords, and to ease the fever.

Recurrent attacks may cause small nodules to form on the vocal cords, and huskiness in later life. Complete recovery after five to ten days is usual.

Anatomy of the larynx showing epiglottis, trachea and vocal fold

(Last modified: 3rd Nov 2014)

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