Laryngitis is when your voice box or vocal cords in the throat become irritated or swollen. It usually goes away by itself within 1 to 2 weeks.
Laryngitis usually comes on suddenly and gets worse during the first 3 days.
The main symptoms are:
Children can also:
Laryngitis is often linked to other illnesses, such as colds and flu, so you may also have other symptoms.
If you're not sure it's laryngitis, check other sore throat symptoms.
Laryngitis usually goes away on its own after 1 to 2 weeks and you do not need to see a GP.
try to speak as little as possible
drink plenty of fluids
keep the air moist by putting out bowls of water – central heating and air conditioning make the air dry
gargle with warm salty water (children should not try this)
do not talk loudly or whisper – both strain your voice
do not smoke
do not spend time in smoky or dusty places
do not drink too much caffeine or alcohol – they cause dehydration
This is not suitable for younger children.
Speak to a pharmacist about your sore throat.
They can give advice and suggest treatments, including:
The GP will try to work out what has caused your laryngitis.
If your laryngitis is caused by an infection, the GP might prescribe antibiotics.
Laryngitis usually happens when you have an infection from a virus, such as cold or flu. A flu vaccination will help prevent you getting flu.
Other things that cause laryngitis include: