Laryngitis most often begins with a viral infection that causes an inflammation of your voice box, also known as the larynx.

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What are the symptoms of laryngitis?

The main symptoms of laryngitis are a hoarse voice or loss of voice for a short time. You may also have a sore neck, mild fever and cough.

Laryngitis also can be a symptom of a larger condition. Seek care from a healthcare provider if you experience more severe symptoms, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • A fever that returns
  • Coughing up blood
  • Severe sore throat

How long does laryngitis last?

Laryngitis usually lasts for a week, with symptoms worsening in the first few days. Hoarseness can last longer than a week because the voice box needs more time to heal.

What causes laryngitis?

The most common cause of laryngitis is a viral infection. It can also be caused by irritation, such as from cigarette smoke, or overuse of the voice box.

Is laryngitis contagious?

Laryngitis itself is not usually contagious, but if it’s caused by an underlying viral infection, then that infection could be contagious. But typically, by the time the laryngitis sets in, the contagious period has passed.

How is laryngitis treated?

In most cases of laryngitis, only home treatment is needed. Home remedies include:

  • Resting your voice
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Breathing in moist air by using a humidifier or vaporizer
  • Avoiding smoking, including secondhand smoke
  • Using throat lozenges or other cough suppressants

If you have chronic laryngitis or your laryngitis is caused by acid reflux or smoking, your healthcare provider may recommend other treatment options, including prescription medication.

If you experience laryngitis symptoms, visit your nearest CareNow® urgent care clinic for treatment.

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