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Laryngitis Treatment

Self-Care at Home

If symptoms of laryngitis last for only a few days or occur immediately after you’ve been using your voice more than normal, then the main treatment is to rest your voice as much as possible.

If you have symptoms that suggest a virus, such as low-grade fever, cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, muscle aches, or feeling run down, then be sure to drink lots of fluids and take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin).

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Many people find inhaling steam, such as from a hot bath or shower, or a cool mist humidifier makes them feel better.

In all cases you should avoid smoking and being where others are smoking.

Medical Treatment

After a careful exam your doctor will decide on a course of treatment. Most of the time, your doctor will recommend home care and may prescribe a steroid injection or prescription. If the doctor is concerned about a bacterial infection causing the laryngitis, then he or she will prescribe a course of antibiotics.

Sometimes, the doctor may choose to observe you in the office or the emergency department for a short time to be sure you are not getting worse quickly. If you have any signs of respiratory distress or that your airway might swell and close, seen more commonly in children than in adults, then you will be admitted to the hospital.

It may be necessary to place a breathing tube into your throat. The procedure is called intubation. You will then be placed on a machine called a ventilator to breathe for you. In this situation, you will receive intravenous antibiotics and probably steroids.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on April 26, 2014

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