What is laryngitis?
What causes laryngitis?
Overuse or straining of the voice
Regurgitation (reflux) of stomach acid
Allergies to dust, fumes or chemicals which can irritate the larynx
Prolonged periods of coughing or throat clearing
Symptoms of laryngitis
Hoarse or croaky voice (sometimes loss of voice)
Feeling a need to clear your throat
Generally, laryngitis is caused by a virus so will get better on its own within 1-2 weeks. Laryngitis treatment, or antibiotics, are not normally required.
Here are some things you can do to help laryngitis symptoms improve:
Rest your voice (reduce your speaking time - do not whisper, sing or speak loudly as this can strain the voice)
Eat nutritious food
Drink plenty of fluids – water is best
Gargle salt for a sore throat
Get plenty of rest
If necessary, use over-the-counter medications like paracetamol and ibuprofen, to reduce pain or temperature
Use a humidifier or inhale steam to prevent dryness
If laryngitis is caused by something other than an infection, it’s important to get the right treatment for this – a GP can discuss next steps with you.
For example, if laryngitis is caused by stomach acid reflux , you may need to change your diet, moderate your lifestyle or take medication to control your stomach acid.
To help treat and prevent laryngitis, it’s also important to:
Avoid smoky environments (and if you smoke, try to stop)
Reduce alcohol intake
People with laryngitis provoked by voice straining may also benefit from vocal therapy.
When to see a GP
If you have symptoms of laryngitis for longer than 2 weeks
If you have any breathing difficulties
If you have difficulty swallowing
If you get recurrent episodes of laryngitis
- Reviewed by:
Dr Rhianna McClymont
Lead GP at Livi
- Last updated: