Larynx is the ‘voice box’ and inflammation of the larynx is called laryngitis.

Inside the larynx are the vocal cords that open and close smoothly, helping us speak or form sounds through their movement and vibration. Overuse, irritation or infection can cause the vocal chords to become inflamed resulting in a hoarse voice. Laryngitis may be short-lived (acute) or long lasting (chronic). Viral or bacterial infections, vocal strain, smoking, acid reflux are some of the causes that trigger laryngitis. An ENT doctor examines your vocal cords by doing laryngoscopy to decide the course of treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pharyngitis is a medical term for a sore throat and it refers to an inflamed pharynx. The pharynx starts behind the nose and ends just above the voice box. Inflammation of the voice box is referred to as laryngitis. Larynx is the medical term for voice box. The larynx is near your pharynx, just above your windpipe.

Most acute cases of laryngitis can be managed by resting your voice and staying hydrated and this resolves them on their own within a couple of days. However, if your laryngitis symptoms last longer than two weeks, one should visit the doctor. Other signs that one requires medical attention are constant fever, worsening throat pain, difficulty breathing or coughing up blood.

Whispering, in principle, is ok. But when we have laryngitis doctors advice is to not “put weight” on the larynx by avoiding speaking. It is always tempting to whisper, but this puts more strain on the vocal cords. When most people whisper, they want to be heard, so they strain to produce sound by squeezing their vocal cords together more tightly to produce the whisper, which is more traumatic. It can be as bad for your voice as shouting. So, if you are trying to rest your voice, it is recommended you not talk, not even in a whisper.