Healthy Living

What Specialists Treat Laryngitis?

What Specialists Treat Laryngitis?

Key Takeaways

  • You do not have to visit a doctor once you have laryngitis. This is because it is possible for laryngitis to disappear without treatment.
  • If you feel that your laryngitis needs attention, first consult your primary care provider.
  • It is possible to recover from laryngitis without treatment 

Laryngitis is a condition that occurs when the voice box - also called the larynx - is inflamed and becomes swollen. It therefore cannot vibrate. It thus produces a hoarse sound from the throat or in some cases, rids one of their voice entirely. Recovery without treatment is possible.

Symptoms of Laryngitis

Below are the signs and symptoms of laryngitis:

  • Hoarse voice
  • Sores on the throat
  • Fever
  • Frequent coughing 

Causes

The leading cause of laryngitis is a viral infection. Bacteria can cause the condition, but on rare occasions. Straining your voice or excessive shouting can also cause laryngitis. It becomes persistent if it lasts three weeks or more. Below are the causes of persistent laryngitis:

  • Use of alcohol in excess
  • Misuse of smoking
  • Chemicals and dust that irritate
  • Voice abuse such as shouting and yelling
  • Reflux

Diagnosis of Laryngitis

You do not have to visit a doctor once you have laryngitis. This is because it is possible for laryngitis to disappear without treatment. However, it is advisable to seek medication if your symptoms are persistent and last for more than three weeks. Your doctor will conduct some research by asking you a few questions to find out more about your laryngitis and establish its primary cause.

Treatment of Laryngitis

If your symptoms do not last long, there is no need for treatment. Remember that this is a viral infection and antibiotics may not be useful in treating your sickness. However, below are some ways to speed up the recovery of your voice:

  • Avoid alcohol, drink water instead
  • Do not smoke; try to avoid secondhand smoke
  • Drink warm saltwater
  • Make sure your voice gets a break
  • Avoid whispering; it can cause strain
  • Visit a doctor if symptoms persist

Laryngitis Treatment Doctors

In case you feel your laryngitis needs attention, consult your primary care providers first. They may make a decision to treat you for common causes of laryngitis. In some cases, they may feel that you need further treatment. They will refer you to specialized doctors who will examine the situation by doing tests on the nose, throat and ear. The following are the specialists who may be involved:

  • A family physician
  • An otolaryngologist

When You Should See a Doctor

The following are the situations in which you should see a doctor:

  • In cases of severe symptoms
  • Acute difficulty in breathing; medication should be sought immediately
  • Persistent high temperatures
  • A voice becoming hoarse for over three weeks
  • Swollen glands in the neck which remain even after medication
  • A neck lump
  • Loss of voice completely

Antibiotics

Laryngitis, as we have already seen, is caused by a viral infection and therefore will not be affected by antibiotics. The viral infection is cleared by the immune system with immediate effects. However, sometimes severe laryngitis can be caused by bacteria. The following are instances in which antibiotics can be used :

  • If the infection persists
  • Continued symptoms 
  • A poor functioning immune system