Laryngitis is an inflammation of your voice box (larynx) from overuse, irritation or infection.

Inside the larynx (voice box) are your vocal cords — which are two bands of mucous membrane covering muscle and cartilage. The vocal cords vibrate and air passes through the cords from the lungs to produce the sound of your voice. The sound is then sent through the throat, nose, and mouth, giving “resonance." However, in laryngitis, your vocal cords become swollenor irritated. This inflammation of the vocal cords can alter the way the vocal cords come together and vibrate; consequently, your voice sounds hoarse or raspy. In some cases of laryngitis, your voice can become nearly undetectable.

There are two types of laryngitis: theshort-lived (acute) or the long lasting (chronic).

Acute laryngitis
Acute laryngitis is temporary and heals once the underlying cause gets better. Causes maybe:

  • Infections similar to those of a cold.

  • Vocal strain, because of persistent yelling or overusing your voice.

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

Chronic laryngitis
Laryngitis that lasts longer than three weeks is known as chronic laryngitis. This type of laryngitis is generally caused by exposure to irritants over time which results in straining and injuring the vocal cord by:

  • Inhaled irritants, such as chemical fumes, allergens or smoking.

  • Chronicsinusitis.

  • Excessive alcohol use.

  • Habitual overuse of your voice (such as with singers or cheerleaders).

Laryngitis signs and symptoms can include:

  • Huskiness.

  • Weak voice or voice loss.

  • Tickling sensationof your throat.

  • Soreor dry throat.

  • Dry cough.​

Most acute cases of laryngitis are manageable with self-care steps, such as resting your voice, drinking plenty of fluids and by avoiding strenuous use of your voice.

Make an appointment with a doctor at The Aga Khan University Hospital if your symptoms last more than two weeks.
Seek immediate medical attention if you:

  • Have trouble breathing.

  • Blood cough.

  • Have a fever that won't subside.

  • Have an increase inpain.

  • Have trouble in swallowing.​

Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand.
Here are some tips to help get you started.​

The most common sign of laryngitis is hoarseness. Changes in your voice can varyfrom mild hoarseness to almost total loss of your voice. If you have chronic hoarseness, you should seek advice from specialized laryngologists of Eye and ENTService Line atThe Aga Khan University Hospital.

The diagnosis techniques which can be used at The Aga Khan University Hospital are:

  • Laryngoscopy. Visual examination of your vocal cords in a procedure called laryngoscopy, by using a light and a tiny mirror to look into the back of your throat. Or your doctor may use fibre-optic laryngoscopy: inserting a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) with a tiny camera and light through your nose and into the back of your throat to watch the motion of your vocal cords as you speak.

  • Biopsy. If your doctor sees a suspicious area he might suggest a biopsy — which includes taking a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope.​

Once you start your treatment, doctors at the Eye and ENT Service Line at The Aga Khan University Hospital will treat you with utmost commitment. The following can be your treatment options as per your doctor’s directives:

  • Antibiotics. In case of a bacterial infection which is triggering laryngitis, your doctor may recommend an antibiotic.

  • Corticosteroids. Sometimes, 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, or in some cases when a toddler has laryngitis associated with croup.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.


The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.