Inflammation or infection of the vocal cords causes laryngitis, according to MedlinePlus. While a viral infection is the most common type of infection, people may suffer laryngitis due to allergies, gastric acid reflux, chemical irritants or injury. In some instances, the swelling of the vocal cords closes off the airway.
Most of the time, laryngitis gets better without requiring drugs, according to Mayo Clinic. In the case of acute laryngitis, the infection is usually viral, so antibiotics do not help in the healing process. Self-care methods, such as resting one's voice and breathing moist air, are often all the individual needs for healing.
Chronic laryngitis is often due to an underlying cause. Mayo Clinic indicates that doctors treat the underlying cause to relieve the laryngitis. With GERD, the most common cause of chronic laryngitis, the doctor prescribes medication to reduce acid reflux, which allows the vocal cords to heal. Stopping smoking to reduce the chemical irritation often brings relief for smoker's laryngitis.
Some people suffer chronic laryngitis due to the way they talk or sing, according to WebMD. These individuals often benefit from working with a speech coach to learn to use their voice without damaging the vocal cords. If the damage leads to the formation of polyps on the vocal cords, the patient sometimes needs surgery