When the larynx (voice box) and the surrounding area become inflamed, the vocal cords no longer vibrate normally. Your voice becomes hoarse, husky, weak, or off-pitch and it may be painful to speak or swallow. Acute (short-term) laryngitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection as a result of the common cold, bronchitis, or allergies. Chronic (long-term) laryngitis can be caused by heavy smoking, vocal strain (too much talking, singing, or shouting), violent coughing, chemical irritants, or esophageal reflux (the backwash of acidic stomach contents).
The symptoms of laryngitis include:
If you are having great difficulty swallowing or breathing or if you are coughing up blood, get emergency care immediately!
See Your Doctor If...
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