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Laryngitis Treatment

Self-Care at Home

If these symptoms have been present for only a few days or occur immediately following an episode of 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 is present, such as low-grade fever, cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, muscle aches, or feeling run down, then you should be sure to drink lots of fluids and take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) for your symptoms as well.
  • 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 areas 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 the home care actions 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 period of time in order to be sure you are not getting worse quickly.
  • If you have any signs of respiratory distress or think your airway could swell and close, then you will be admitted to the hospital.
  • In some emergency situations, more commonly in children than adults, the danger of your throat swelling shut exists.
  • It may be necessary to place a breathing tube into your throat in order to breathe for you (the procedure is called intubation).
  • You will then be placed on a machine to breathe for you called a ventilator.
  • In this situation, you will receive intravenous antibiotics and probably steroids.

WebMD Medical Reference from eMedicineHealth

Reviewed by Elena Antonelli, MD on May 03, 2010

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