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Laryngitis: Laryngitis is the swelling and irritation (inflammation) of the voice box (larynx) that is usually associated with loss of voice or hoarseness. The voice box (larynx) is located at the top of the airway to the lungs (trachea). The lump at the front of your throat, commonly known as the Adam’s apple, is your larynx. The larynx contains the vocal cords. When the vocal cords become inflamed or infected, they swell. This can cause hoarseness and may sometimes block the airway.

The most common form of laryngitis is an infection caused by a virus, such as cold or flu viruses. It may also be caused by allergies, bronchitis, injury, pneumonia, bacterial infection, smoking and alcohol misuse.

Most cases of laryngitis get better without treatment within a week. To help your vocal cords heal, it is important not to smoke, to avoid smoky environments, drink plenty of fluids (particularly water) and try to rest your voice as much as possible.
In some cases, it may be possible to treat the underlying cause of laryngitis. For example, if the symptoms are due to an allergic reaction, you may be able avoid the substance you are allergic to, or take medication to help control your body's response to the substance.

Certain forms of laryngitis such as Croup and Epiglottitis occur in children that can lead to dangerous or fatal respiratory blockage. Patients with hoarseness that lasts for more than a month (especially smokers) need to see an ear, nose and throat doctor (otolaryngologist) for tests of the throat and upper airway.

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