Laryngitis

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

You never realize how much you need your voice until its gone. Dr. Edward Hill discusses laryngitis in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Laryngitis is the swelling of the vocal cords. It keeps the vocal cords from vibrating normally, so the sounds they produce are far from normal. The voice may sound hoarse or husky or disappear altogether.

Hoarseness or laryngitis is usually caused either by overuse of the vocal cords or a viral infection. Shouting, singing and speaking for long periods can all cause temporary hoarseness or loss of voice. A cold, sore throat or other upper respiratory infection can also rob you of your voice if the infection spreads to the voice box.

Hoarseness that is caused by overuse or by a cold or other infection will usually go away on its own within two weeks.

Smoking, alcohol and air pollution can dry the vocal cords and cause hoarseness. Constant or repeated hoarseness not linked to overuse or an infection may be something more serious, such as cancer of the larynx. See your doctor if hoarseness doesnt go away within a month.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.