How Long Does Laryngitis Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 To 7 Days

Laryngitis can last anywhere from a couple of days to even weeks. On average, laryngitis lasts for about a minimum of 5 days to a maximum of a week. But it is important to know that many factors must be considered while knowing how long laryngitis lasts. The factors which determine this could be treatment method, medical attention, and the type of laryngitis. Among all these factors, the major factor is the type of laryngitis which plays a vital role in determining how long laryngitis lasts.

How Long Does Laryngitis Last?

Type Of LaryngitisTime
Acute laryngitis5 days to 2 weeks
Chronic laryngitis2 to 3 weeks
2 to 3 weeks

Laryngitis is further divided into two categories, that is, acute laryngitis and chronic laryngitis. The major difference between these two types of laryngitis is the severity of laryngitis and the medical attention required.

On average, acute laryngitis lasts from a few days to a maximum of 2 weeks and most importantly, it goes away on its own. Often, the person can treat acute laryngitis at home, and in most cases, it does not require any medical attention. A major reason for acute laryngitis is infections, however, vocal strain and irritants can also cause it.

Chronic laryngitis is the type of laryngitis that often lasts longer as compared to acute laryngitis. On average, chronic laryngitis lasts for about a minimum of 2 weeks to a maximum of 3 weeks. Chronic laryngitis is majorly caused by irritants or overuse of your voice, however, the infection can also be a reason for it. Chronic laryngitis cannot be generally cured at home, instead, it requires medical attention and treatments. The treatments for chronic laryngitis can be either working with a speech-language pathologist or making changes in lifestyle to adjust how and when you use voice.

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Why Does Laryngitis Last That Long?

To know why laryngitis lasts that long, it is important to understand what happens during laryngitis. Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx, or also known as the voice box. Laryngitis can be caused due to many reasons like overuse of the larynx, in other words, it can be said as overspeaking, irritation, or infection.

Our vocal cords are situated inside the larynx. The vocal cords are two folds of mucous membrane which covers the muscles and cartilages. When we speak, the vocal cords open and close smoothly. Because of the continuous opening and closing of vocal cords, vibrations are produced which further transforms into sound. 

But, because of laryngitis, the vocal cords become inflamed and irritated due to many different reasons, viruses and bacteria as well. Because of this, the vocal cords swell up which results in distortion of the sounds, or to practically say, vibrations produced when the air passes through the larynx. As a result, the sound of a person having laryngitis becomes hoarse. In cases of chronic laryngitis, the voice of the person can even become undetectable.

The time for how long laryngitis lasts can be significantly decreased if detected at an early stage. Thus, it becomes really important to detect laryngitis at an early stage and provide the best treatment possible. One can identify laryngitis by knowing its symptoms it. Symptoms of laryngitis majorly include hoarseness in voice, change in volume or pitch, or maybe even losing the voice completely. Symptoms apart from voice could be cough, feeling the need to clear your throat often, sore throat, pain in the throat while speaking or swallowing. Other symptoms which are especially shown in young children and infants could be fever over 100.4 degrees, loss of appetite, and difficulty in breathing in severe cases.

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Conclusion

If detected at an early stage, laryngitis can be cured at home only without much medical attention. One can follow curative measures to treat laryngitis at home. These curative measures could be using a humidifier, throat-soothing lozenges, speaking as little as possible, staying away from smoke and other irritants, and gargling with warm saltwater. However, if laryngitis stays in for more than 3 weeks, it is important to consult a doctor as soon as possible. Apart from this, people having chronic laryngitis must consult a speech-language pathologist to learn how to use their voice properly.

References

  1. https://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g5827
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0030666507002174
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