Understanding and Treating Laryngitis

Laryngitis is caused by the inflammation of the voice box, or larynx, and it can result in hoarseness, sore throat, and cough. While it is usually triggered by a virus such as the common cold, some patients can develop laryngitis after overusing their vocal chords. As an ENT specialist, Dr. Michael S. Cohen offers effective, customized laryngitis treatment to patients on Long Island, NY. After conducting a thorough evaluation, he can diagnose the source of laryngitis and provide treatment to help you manage symptoms. 

image of woman with laryngitis
If you have laryngitis, it is important to rest your voice and stay hydrated.

Vocal Chords and Laryngitis

Your vocal chords are located in the larynx. They are covered by two mucous membranes and are responsible for producing speech. In the absence of laryngitis, the vocal chords open and close with ease, producing sound through vibrations. Laryngitis causes the vocal chords to become inflamed or irritated, affecting the sound and volume of your voice. As air passes over the irritated tissue, your voice can become distorted, sounding hoarse or faint. In more severe cases, all sound may be absent.

How Long Does It Last?

Laryngitis can be either acute or chronic, depending upon your unique circumstances. Most commonly, patients will experience a rapid onset of laryngitis that can last from three days to two weeks. If it persists for more than two weeks, laryngitis is considered chronic. 

Dr. Cohen can provide a wide range of treatments for laryngitis that aim to relieve symptoms such as sore throat, high fever, or cough.

Symptoms of Laryngitis

If you have laryngitis, you may feel sore or tender on the front of your neck, before experiencing hoarseness. Until inflammation subsides, your voice will likely be faint or even absent. This condition may also be accompanied by a high fever and a persistent cough, or nose and sinus issues. If laryngitis is part of a larger infection, you may also have swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, headache, and sore throat. 

Treating Laryngitis

Dr. Cohen can provide a wide range of treatments for laryngitis that aim to relieve symptoms such as sore throat, high fever, or cough. He may recommend ibuprofen to reduce inflammation, or throat lozenges to relieve hoarseness and dryness. One of the most important things you can do to encourage healing is to drink plenty of fluids, even if it is slightly painful to swallow. Dr. Cohen may also recommend humidifying the air in your home to moisturize the larynx and clear secretions. If you experience chronic laryngitis that is caused by a bacterial infection (as opposed to the more common viral laryngitis), Dr. Cohen can prescribe the appropriate antibiotics to eliminate bacteria.

Contact Long Island's Best ENT Specialist

Dr. Cohen understands how stressful it can be to lose your voice, especially when it is accompanied by painful symptoms. If you are experiencing hoarseness or a dry cough, contact our office as soon as possible so we can provide effective laryngitis treatment. You can also call us at (516) 921-6780 to schedule an appointment.

Michael S. Cohen, MD

Michael S. Cohen, MD is board-certified in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, and Facial Plastic Surgery. He uses the latest tools and treatments to perform precise, comfortable, and effective care. Dr. Cohen is the Medical Director of the ProHealth Day-Op Ambulatory Surgical Center. He is also affiliated with: 

  • NYU - Winthrop University Hospital
  • Northwell Health Long Island Jewish Hospital
  • Northwell Health Huntington Hospital
  • Cohen’s Children’s Hospital

To speak with Dr. Cohen about your needs, request an appointment online or call us at (516) 921-6780.

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