Inflammation of larynx is called laryngitis. Its characteristic symptoms are hoarseness of voice or there may be temporary or complete loss of voice and pain in throat on swallowing. These symptoms results due to irritation of the vocal cords.


Laryngitis can be infectious or non-infectious. Laryngitis proves to be contagious disease if it is caused by an infection.

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Larynx is a tube located in the throat, measuring 1.5 inch. It lies below the base of the hyoid bone and tongue. Esophagus lies anterior to the larynx. The mucous lining covers the larynx.

Epiglottis covers the mouth and trachea. Epiglottis prevents the entry of food and saliva in larynx during swallowing.

Function of larynx is to help in normal breathing, swallowing, and speaking. Different sounds are produced from whispering to singing by vocal cords.

The larynx has cartilages of which three are paired and three are unpaired.
Unpaired cartilages are:
• Cricoids
• Thyroid
• Epiglottis
Paired cartilages are:
• Corniculate
• Aryenoid
• CuneiformSign and symptom of laryngitis

• There is dryness, sore and burning in throat.
• Difficulty in swallowing
• Flu like symptoms is seen.
• Lymph nodes swollen in throat, chest or face.
• Dyspnea, difficulty in breathing especially in children.
• There is increase in production of saliva.
• Hoarseness of voice with inability to speak.

Investigations of laryngitis

No laboratory investigation is helpful.
Culture tests of exudates from throat help in diagnosis of laryngitis.
Direct fiberoptic or indirect laryngoscopy tests are helpful in viewing the larynx.
Laryngitis is usually a self limited disease. With treatment at early stages it is curable.

Prognosis of laryngitis

Laryngitis is usually a self limited disease. With treatment at early stages it is curable.

Complications of laryngitis

• Chronic laryngitis
• If hoarseness is more beyond the time of acute laryngitis then there may be risk of upper aero digestive tract carcinoma.

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