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General Practice 2023

Laryngitis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Laryngitis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Laryngitis: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx whose main symptom is hoarseness of variable intensity, which can be accompanied by fever, pain when swallowing, pain when speaking and cough, in some cases.

Laryngitis may have an infectious cause, which may be due to infection by viruses, fungi, bacteria or parasites, or have a non-infectious cause, resulting from allergies, reflux or vocal tension, for example.

Laryngitis usually lasts up to 7 days, being recommended in these cases voice rest and steam inhalation. However, in cases where symptoms are persistent, it is recommended that the doctor be consulted to identify the cause and be indicated the best treatment, which may involve the use of medication.

Symptoms of Laryngitis

The main symptom of laryngitis is hoarseness, which can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

  • Cough;
  • Sore throat;
  • Pain when swallowing;
  • Pain when speaking.
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Loss of voice, voice failing;
  • There may be fever.

The symptoms of childhood laryngitis are similar to the symptoms of viral laryngitis, also known as croup, although in children the biggest sign of inflammation of the larynx is the presence of a dry cough, similar to a dog barking, usually during night. Understand better what croup is and the main symptoms.

Types of Laryngitis

Laryngitis can be classified into two main types according to the duration of symptoms, namely:

  • Acute laryngitis, in which the symptoms last about 7 days, being more common in children;
  • Chronic laryngitis, in which symptoms last for weeks, being more common in adults.

Furthermore, laryngitis can be classified according to the cause in:

  • Non-infectious laryngitis, in which inflammation of the larynx occurs due to non-infectious conditions, such as allergy, reflux and vocal tension, for example;
  • Infectious Laryngitis, which can be caused by viruses, fungi, bacteria and parasites.

It is important that the type of laryngitis be identified, so that the doctor can indicate the best form of treatment.

Main causes

The main causes of laryngitis are:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux;
  • Vocal tension;
  • Allergy;
  • Autoimmune diseases;
  • Larynx cancer;
  • Virus infection such as influenzae and parainfluenzae;
  • Infection by a parasite, such as Leishmania braziliensis, in cases of chronic laryngitis;
  • Infection by fungi, such as Histoplasma capsulatum, Paracoccidioides braziliensis and Candida sp., being more common in immunosuppressed patients and/or who used a large amount of antibiotics;
  • Infection by bacteria such as Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, beta-hemolytic Streptococcus, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Bordetella pertussis.

In addition, in some cases, laryngitis can be a consequence of chronic infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, syphilis and leprosy, for example.

How the diagnosis is made

The diagnosis of laryngitis is made by the doctor from the evaluation of the signs and symptoms presented by the person.If an acute bacterial infection is suspected, for example, it may be recommended that a sample of the throat secretion be collected so that the infectious agent can be identified.

In addition, in cases where symptoms persist for more than 3 weeks, videolaryngoscopy can be performed in order to evaluate the larynx and identify signs indicative of inflammation. Understand how videolaryngoscopy is performed.

How the treatment is done

Treatment for laryngitis may vary depending on the cause of the inflammation, however, regardless of the cause of the laryngitis, it is recommended that the person rest their voice and inhale warm steam to relieve discomfort and decrease inflammation of the larynx.

In addition, the doctor may recommend the use of analgesic, anti-inflammatory or corticosteroid medications in spray form, and the administration of oral antibiotics, especially when the infection is caused by bacteria.In cases of allergic laryngitis, the use of antihistamines may also be indicated.

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