Laryngitis - Causes

What is the usual cause of laryngitis?

The voice box (larynx) joins the back of the throat to the windpipe (trachea). The vocal cords are part of the larynx and are needed for speech. Laryngitis means inflammation of the larynx. It is most often due to infection with a germ. The most common germ causing laryngitis is a virus (viral laryngitis). Other causes are much less common.

Other causes of laryngitis and hoarseness

As well as being caused by a virus, laryngitis can be caused by other germs, such as bacteria. Laryngitis may also be caused by a long period of screaming, yelling or singing very loudly. This causes your vocal cords to bang together which can make them inflamed.

If laryngitis doesn't settle after three weeks, it is called chronic laryngitis. Causes for this include:

A change in your voice which lasts for more than three weeks always needs checking out by your doctor.

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Author:
Dr Mary Harding
Peer Reviewer:
Prof Cathy Jackson
Document ID:
4404 (v41)
Last Checked:
04 June 2015
Next Review:
03 June 2018

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Patient Platform Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.