The symptoms of laryngitis include a weak or absent voice, hoarseness, sore throat, a dry cough, and a tickling sensation in the throat, explains Mayo Clinic. Laryngitis is itself often a symptom of conditions such as viral infections, vocal strain or bacterial infections.
Laryngitis can either be acute and last only a short time, or chronic, Mayo Clinic says. Chronic laryngitis lasts at least three weeks. Causes of chronic laryngitis include smoking, inhaled irritants, excessive alcohol use, chronic sinusitis and acid reflux. Less-common causes include chronic fungal infections and parasitic infections. Habitual overuse of the voice can also lead to chronic laryngitis. Doctors examine lifestyle factors along with direct observations of the larynx to determine the cause of chronic laryngitis and prescribe a treatment. In some cases, a tissue sample from a suspicious area is taken for testing.
Once a doctor determines the cause of chronic laryngitis, the most-important treatment deals with the causative condition, states Mayo Clinic. Physicians prescribe antibiotics for infectious causes, for instance. Doctors prescribe corticosteroids to diminish the inflammation of the larynx in cases where vocal performance is needed immediately. People with laryngitis can minimize their symptoms by breathing moist air, avoiding whispering, drinking plenty of fluids, and vocal rest.