What causes laryngitis?
Laryngitis is frequently triggered by temporary viral infections or vocal strain. Less often, laryngitis is caused by something more serious or long lasting. But most cases of laryngitis last less than a few weeks and are not serious.
Causes of acute laryngitis
Acute cases of laryngitis are temporary and improve after treating the underlying cause. Usually, a viral infection causes acute laryngitis. Certain viruses or bacteria can infect the larynx and cause it to swell. Acute laryngitis may also occur during the course of or after another illness, such as a cold, flu, bronchitis or pneumonia. A bacterial infection also cause acute laryngitis, but this is less common. Causes of acute laryngitis include:
Causes of chronic laryngitis
Laryngitis that lasts more than three weeks is known as chronic laryngitis. Chronic laryngitis can create vocal cord strain, injuries or growths on the vocal cord (polyps or nodules). This type of laryngitis is generally caused by irritants over time such as heavy smoking, excessive use of alcohol, or acid reflux. Common causes of chronic laryngitis include:
Risk factors may not be a direct cause of a particular disease, but seem to be associated with its development in some way. The following factors place you at greater risk of developing laryngitis. Risk factors for laryngitis include:
Alcohol use – People who drink alcohol excessively are more at risk of laryngitis.
Lifestyle – You are more at risk of developing laryngitis if you overuse your voice by speaking too much, speaking too loudly, shouting or singing.
Other illnesses – If you have been diagnosed with a respiratory infection, such as a cold, bronchitis or sinusitis you are at greater risk of developing laryngitis. Likewise, people who have been diagnosed with GERD or who experience acid reflux are more likely to get laryngitis.
Exposure to irritating substances – People exposed to cigarette smoke, workplace chemicals, and other inhaled irritants are at more risk of developing laryngitis.
Smoking –Smokers are more likely to be diagnosed with laryngitis than non smokers.
Although irritating, a case of laryngitis is rarely serious. Only in rare instances do severe respiratory distress may develop as a result of voice box inflammation . But how do you know if laryngitis requires medical attention? Continue reading here for more information on the symptoms of a lost voice.
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