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What is Laryngitis?

Laryngitis is an inflammation of your voice box (larynx) from overuse, irritation, or infection. It is very common, and most cases aren’t serious.

Symptoms can include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Weak voice or voice loss
  • Tickling sensation and rawness in your throat
  • Sore throat
  • Dry throat
  • Dry cough

Laryngitis can be acute or chronic. Acute laryngitis is usually mild and only lasts three to seven days. If the condition lasts more than three weeks, then it is considered chronic.

Acute laryngitis can be caused by:

  • Viral infections
  • Vocal strain caused by yelling or overusing your voice
  • Bacterial infections (these are less common)

Chronic laryngitis can be caused by:

  • Inhaled irritants, such as chemical fumes, allergens, or smoke
  • Acid reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Habitual overuse of your voice (such as in singers or cheerleaders)
  • Smoking

UR Medicine's Treatments for Laryngitis

Acute laryngitis often gets better on its own within a week, but if you are experiencing laryngitis for more than two weeks, it is important to make an appointment with your primary care provider or schedule an on-demand video visit. If left untreated, voice disorders can affect your quality of life. Depending on your diagnosis, your provider may refer you to the Voice Center. 

The UR Medicine Voice Center is here to help, providing state-of-the-art evaluation and care for people with voice disorders, including laryngitis.

Most treatments for chronic laryngitis aim to treat underlying causes, such as heartburn, smoking, or excessive use of alcohol.

Other treatments may include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Corticosteroids
  • Voice therapy
  • Surgery

What Sets Us Apart?

We are the only voice center in Upstate New York with a comprehensive team of voice experts with special training to evaluate and treat patients with voice, swallowing, and breathing problems.

UR Medicine Voice Center includes ENT (ear, nose, and throat) physicians, speech-language pathologists, and singing specialists who are fellowship-trained, the highest level of training.

Our experts work collaboratively to provide the best possible care and treatment for our patients. Using the latest treatment techniques, we will work to identify the cause of your voice disorder, treat it quickly and effectively, and improve your overall vocal health.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

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3 locations

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Batavia

7995 Call Parkway, Suite 100
Batavia, NY 14020

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Geneva

64 Elizabeth Blackwell Street, Suite A
Geneva, NY 14456

Ear, Nose, & Throat - Brighton

Clinton Woods
2365 South Clinton Avenue, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14618

Patient Education & Support

How to Prevent Laryngitis

To avoid irritation of your vocal cords:

  • Avoid smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Keep spicy foods out of your diet.
  • Include a variety of healthy foods in your diet.
  • Avoid clearing your throat.
  • Wash your hands regularly to avoid upper respiratory infections.

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