Inflammation of the larynx, which can lead to edema of the true vocal folds. Causes may be infectious or noninfectious (e.g., vocal strain, reflux laryngitis, chronic irritative laryngitis).
Generally clinically diagnosed.
Symptoms of acute disease, most commonly hoarseness, generally arise over a period of <7 days, are usually preceded by a viral URI, and are ordinarily self-limiting. Patients may present with airway distress and high fever. Exudative tonsillopharyngitis with fever and anterior cervical lymphadenitis is highly suggestive of a bacterial origin.
The airway should be assessed first. Diligence and promptness are key, as they can be lifesaving.
Chronic laryngitis presents with hoarseness lasting >3 weeks. A thorough evaluation and specialist consultation should be obtained, because symptoms are similar to those of laryngeal malignancy.
Treatment for viral laryngitis consists of voice rest and hydration. For bacterial causes, antibiotics are used along with supportive measures. Vocal strain is managed with vocal hygiene.