Aug 16, 2011


Laryngitis is the medical term for inflammation and swelling of the larynx, which is also known as the voice box. Most of the causes of laryngitis, such as common viruses infections or using your voice too much, are not serious. A few causes, however, require medical attention and can be cause for concern such as laryngeal cancer.


Laryngitis is usually caused by a virus or occurs in people who overuse their voice. Occasionally, a person may develop laryngitis from bacterial infections, and rarely, from infections such as tuberculosis, syphilis, or a fungal infection. People with prolonged laryngitis should see their doctor to be checked for tumors, some of which may be cancerous. Smokers and those who consume alcohol are especially at risk for cancer.If the laryngitis is from a viral or bacterial infection, it is possible that the specific virus or bacteria can be contagious. However, if the laryngitis is from laryngeal cancer or overuse of the voice, it is not contagious.

  • Hoarseness
  • Dry, sore throat
  • Coughing, which can be a symptom of, or a factor in causing laryngitis
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sensation of swelling in the area of the larynx
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms (which, like a cough, may also be the causal factor for laryngitis)
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the throat, chest, or face
  • Fever
  • Coughing out blood
  • Difficulty breathing (mostly in children)
  • Difficulty eating
  • Increased production of saliva in mouth

In most instances, the symptoms accompanying laryngitis are more directly linked to the causative factor, such as infection. In cases caused by overuse of the voice, symptoms other than vocal impairment may be absent. Laryngitis, hoarseness or breathlessness that lasts for more than two weeks may signal a voice disorder and should be followed up with a voice pathologist. This is typically a vocology certified SLP (speech language pathologist) or a laryngologist (voice specialized ENT). If laryngitis is due to gastroesophageal reflux:

  • The patient may be instructed to take a medication such as Zantac or Prilosec for a period of 4-6 weeks. 
  • If laryngitis is due to a bacterial or fungal infection:
  • If persistent hoarseness or loss of voice (dysphonia) is a result of vocal cord nodules:
  • Physicians may recommend a course of treatment that may include a surgical procedure and/or speech therapy.
  • Reduction of high-impact stress to the vocal cords caused by loud, frequent, and high-pitched voicing is recommended
Natural Remedies

The leaves are commonly used in India and Southeast Asia to treat coughs. It is known to be an effective expectorant. The simplest method is to chew a leaf. You can also make a tea by boiling the leaves in water (in the Caribbean, they add honey to the tea). Or you can pound the leaves and mix with a little water.

Make a juice from Coleus ambinicus (Indian Borage) leaves, add sugar candy to taste. Then drink it. If you drink regularly, will be reduced dry throat..