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Laryngitis

Hoarse voice or the complete loss of the voice because of irritation to the vocal folds (vocal cords).

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders)

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Antibiotics to treat adults with acute laryngitis

Cochrane authors reviewed the available evidence from randomised controlled trials on the use of antibiotics for adults with acute laryngitis.

Nasal saline irrigation for acute upper airway infection symptoms

Acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) include colds, influenza and infections of the throat, nose or sinuses. They are usually self limiting viral infections, though sometimes symptoms may persist for many weeks beyond the clearance of the initial infection, with or without establishment of secondary bacterial infections. The aim of treatment is predominantly for relief of symptoms, though some treatments may have a role in reducing the duration of post‐viral symptoms, such as cough. Saline nose spray and larger volume nasal washes have become more popular as one of many treatment options for URTIs, and they have been shown to have some effectiveness for chronic sinusitis and following nasal surgery. However, little is known about their effectiveness in the treatment of acute URTI or which symptoms they may be effective for.

Proton pump inhibitor therapy for suspected GERD-related chronic laryngitis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

This review compared proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) with placebo for treating suspected gastroesophageal reflux disease-related chronic laryngitis in adults. The authors concluded that PPI therapy had a modest but non significant effect over placebo. This was a well-conducted systematic review and the conclusion appears reliable.

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Summaries for consumers

Antibiotics to treat adults with acute laryngitis

Cochrane authors reviewed the available evidence from randomised controlled trials on the use of antibiotics for adults with acute laryngitis.

Nasal saline irrigation for acute upper airway infection symptoms

Acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) include colds, influenza and infections of the throat, nose or sinuses. They are usually self limiting viral infections, though sometimes symptoms may persist for many weeks beyond the clearance of the initial infection, with or without establishment of secondary bacterial infections. The aim of treatment is predominantly for relief of symptoms, though some treatments may have a role in reducing the duration of post‐viral symptoms, such as cough. Saline nose spray and larger volume nasal washes have become more popular as one of many treatment options for URTIs, and they have been shown to have some effectiveness for chronic sinusitis and following nasal surgery. However, little is known about their effectiveness in the treatment of acute URTI or which symptoms they may be effective for.

Advising patients to increase fluid intake for treating acute respiratory infections

Doctors commonly recommend that people with acute respiratory infections drink extra fluids. Acute infections include colds, acute sinusitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, pneumonia and influenza. This review intended to find out the benefit or harm from this recommendation. Potential benefits of fluids are replacing fluid lost because of fever or rapid breathing, treating dehydration and reducing the viscosity of mucus. In infections of the lower part of the respiratory tract, possible harmful effects of fluids might be a dilution of the blood sodium concentration, leading to headache, confusion and seizures. This review found no evidence for or against the use of increased fluids in acute respiratory infections. No randomised controlled trials have been conducted to determine the benefit or harm from extra fluids. It is important that further studies be done in order to determine the true effect of this very common medical advice.

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More about Laryngitis

Photo of a young adult

Also called: Laryngeal inflammation

Other terms to know:
Vocal Cords (Vocal Folds)

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