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Laryngitis Symptoms & Diagnosis


Symptoms include:

  • Hoarseness (raspiness, breathiness, and strain) or loss of voice
  • Changes in volume (loudness) or in pitch (how high or low the voice is)
  • Sore throat
  • Sensation of a "lump" in the throat


A doctor should examine you if you experience the following:

  • Hoarseness that has no obvious cause or has lasted longer than 2-3 weeks
  • Hoarseness with difficulty swallowing or breathing, coughing up blood, a lump in the neck, or throat pain out of proportion to that usually seen with the common cold
    • For some of these symptoms, emergency medical evaluation is indicated. If you have any questions about how quickly to seek care, call your doctor or a local emergency facility.
  • Complete loss of voice or severe change in voice lasting longer than a few days

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.

You may be referred to an otolaryngologist, also called an ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor, if your laryngitis does not have an easily identified cause or cure.

An ENT doctor will also ask about your medical history and examine your voicebox using a flexible, lighted scope that is passed through your nose and down the back of the throat. In some cases, the doctor will place a mirror in the back of your mouth to see your voicebox. Under some circumstances, other tests may be indicated to evaluate swallowing mechanisms or other processes related to normal voice functioning.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2022 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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