Healthy Living

Causes of Laryngitis

Causes of Laryngitis

Key Takeaways

  • Acute laryngitis can also be termed as the temporal infection of your voice box
  • An infection in the voice box that goes for more than two weeks is termed as chronic laryngitis
  • Physical examination is the fundamental method used to examine whether one is suffering from laryngitis

Laryngitis is normally recorded as a result of a contagion or the exploitation of the vocal cords. The contagious causes are commonly taken care of with antibiotics, which at times make the situation worse, which would not be the case if there were some natural treatment. These treatments are more effective and efficient to reverse the situation. Well, what is laryngitis?

This is an irritation that is experienced in your larynx. Basically, it is acknowledged the moment you lose your voice. The loss of voice can be for a short period or a long period of time. In most cases, laryngitis normally lasts for two or so weeks. There are two types of laryngitis: acute laryngitis and chronic laryngitis.

 

Acute laryngitis

Acute laryngitis can also be termed as the temporal infection of your voice box. It elapses when the causes are dealt with. The causes are viral contagions (comparable to the ones that cause a cold), vocal misuse, which normally is a result of straining your vocal box as you try to yell, and bacterial contamination.

 

Chronic laryngitis

An infection in the voice box that goes for more than two weeks is termed as chronic laryngitis. Continued exposure to irritants leads to chronic laryngitis. Normally, the aftermath can be severe, as one can have infected vocal cords. Basically, chronic laryngitis is caused by:

  • Excessive smoking
  • Too much intake of alcohol
  • Continuous straining of your voice. Take, for instance, the singers who keep overusing their vocal chords.
  • Gasped irritants 
  • Cancer
  • Voice box paralysis
  • Distorted vocal box due to old age  

The above causes are the commonly known. However, bacterial contamination and infections from fleas can be other causes, but they are rare.

What are the known symptoms for laryngitis?

 

The diagnosis of laryngitis

Physical examination is the fundamental method used to examine whether or not one is suffering from laryngitis. The main areas of concentration are the throat, mouth, nose, and neck. In case a doctor cannot be in a position to diagnose a person’s vocal problem, they normally refer them to an otolaryngologist, who specializes in laryngitis. The otolaryngologist uses the results of their examination together with their voice to identify whether or not they are suffering from laryngitis, and, if they are, whether or not they need treatment.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Gastroesophageal simply refers to both your stomach and esophagus. Reflux is the flow-back of content. Gastric content flow-back normally happens at night when the individual is fast asleep. The lower esophageal sphincter opens when allowing food into your stomach and closes up to avoid acidic juices and food in the stomach from returning into the esophagus.

Gastroesophageal reflex happens if the lower esophageal sphincter is weak or when it is in a relaxed mode. This makes it possible for content to go up into your esophagus. This content is what normally injures an individual’s larynx.       

Mild and common GERD mainly involve the posterior wall of your larynx, but any part of your upper respiratory tract epithelium can be involved. Once the condition is confirmed using the necessarily pH studies, a diagnosis will be made. Any cause of reflux can stimulate chronic laryngitis.  

Infections

  • Tuberculosis - Tubercle bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis hominis infection causes tuberculosis. The overall occurrence of this has declined. Tuberculosis used to be a common ailment of the larynx. Two major sources of infection are infected sputum in the pulmonary tuberculosis and hematogenous route.
  • Leprosy - Mycobacterium leprae (Hansen bacillus) infection causes leprosy. It is an acid-fast bacilli that has a tendency to attach to nerves and affect the larynx, mainly the epiglottis. Nasal mucosa is thought to be the most likely point of entry, which explains why nasal perforation is observed. The larynx comes in second as a highly affected part.    
  • Syphilis - Spiral bacterium (Treponema pallidum) causes syphilis. It has three stages of ailment. The primary stage where the clinical findings are observed. The secondary stage where cutaneous and systemic participation prevails. The last stage is tertiary, where destructive noninfectious progressions are prevalent. Larynx comes in during the secondary and tertiary phases. Laryngeal participation in congenital syphilis is the same as that observed in the secondary stage.
  • Fungal infections - Patients that are immunocompromised, whether naturally or as a result of pharmacological treatment, are often affected. Fungi is likely to be found at the larynx mucosal surface. Immunosuppression can either be acquired or congenital. It can also be developed from AIDS. Drugs can be administered for immunosuppression, i.e. chemotherapeutic agents, steroids, and antibiotics.
  • Candidal laryngitis – This often establishes itself with pharyngitis as a result of superficial colonization of mucosa, which involves the oral cavity. Inhaled steroids works directly on just the larynx.    
  • Invasive infections – This can happen with histoplasmosis and blastomycosis. These are endemic ailments in some parts of this world. In the US, Blastomyces dermatitis is prevalent in the southwest of the United States, while Histoplasma capsulatum is prevalent near the Ohio River.  
  • Immediate or delayed allergies – Allergic response, especially hypersensitive forms, can result in chronic laryngitis.
  • Systemic diseases – Chronic laryngitis can be caused, although it is mostly autoimmune, i.e. Wegener granulomatosis, amyloidosis, and relapsing polychondritis.
  • Fungal Organisms - Coccidiosis, Paracoccidioidomycosis, rhinosporidiosis, and aspergillosis characterize various fungal organisms rarely involved in the causing of chronic fungal laryngitis.
  • Cutaneous disease – Systemic lupus erythematous, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. can be linked with chronic laryngitis.
  • Endemic laryngeal parasitic – These parasitic infections don’t exist in the US. Foreign travelers having local organisms might be affected sporadically. Those having leishmaniasis and sporotrichosis are also prone to infection.     
  • Muscular disorders – One-third of individuals suffering from myasthenia gravis will display flaws of the pharynx and larynx.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - People with GERD can develop chronic cough and reflux laryngitis. Individuals have a sour taste in their mouths, and they can feel the existence of acid and water brash. When the acid spills repeatedly into the vocal cords, it will cause chemical irritation. This will resulting in soreness that will obstruct proper vibration and production of sound. Persistent coughing may result from the influx.          

Voice abuse

This is often detected on professional singers and occasional shouters. Teachers, actors, and other people who elevate their voices while working are also prone to voice abuse. Abrasions vary from simple edema for the infrequent abuser to hyperplasic response for the persistent abuser.

Excessive cheering or singing can result in swelling of your larynx.

Environmental factors

Chemicals, dust, toxins, and fumes are other environmental factors that can result in damage to the larynx.

Neurological effects

The recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) and the superior laryngeal nerve are the two vagus nerve branches that supply larynx with muscles. Interruption of the larynx muscles and nerve supply result in irregular motility of some workings of your larynx causing irritation that is often chronic.

Possible outcomes can include:

  • The RLN or Vagus nerve develops unilateral paralysis.
  • Most cases triggered by thyroid surgery with inflammation to the RLN leads to bilateral abductor paralysis.
  • Superior laryngeal nerve paralysis occurs secondary to the supraglottic laryngectomy or thyroidectomy.

Chronic laryngitis causes that are linked to vocal disorder are spastic dysphonia and atrophy of the vocal folds. 

When does one seek medical assistance?

Laryngitis heals faster and at times it heals on its own. However, if the symptoms or the irritation is past two weeks, you should consider seeking medical advice. For a child case, a parent should seek medical assistance immediately after the child starts experiencing difficulties in breathing. This makes it possible for you to undergo diagnosis and at the same time referrals to a specialist, if necessary.

Treatment for laryngitis

Normally, laryngitis may end without medical help. It can take one or two weeks. It is mostly advisable that you avoid being in a smoky surrounding and stay hydrated. Water is a great remedy, which may help in the healing process. Avoiding straining your voice can also be a great natural remedy for laryngitis. Avoiding all the causes of laryngitis is the best move. If the symptoms become more severe, you should have the otolaryngologist give a prescription. 

Final Thoughts

Laryngitis can be acute or chronic, depending on the cause. However, it can be treated fairly easily, if the root of the problem is addressed.