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Is Laryngitis Contagious

Updated on March 14, 2010

Laryngitis is a medical condition in which there is an inflammation of the throat medically known as larynx or the voice box. The larynx is located right above the trachea where the lungs and the throat meet. On another side of the larynx, there are two skin folders called the vocal cords. The tightening or loosening of the vocal cords determines the recognizable speech and sounds.

The vocal cords are coated with smooth layer of the mucus for keeping them lubricated. When the larynx is inflamed by virus or bacterial infection, the cords may swell up and the mucus may be thin or gets dried out. This results in a horse or a raspy voice that is often accompanied with fever and cough. Most of the laryngitis is caused by the viral infections but the same process is caused by the bacterium and the streptococcus.

The laryngitis is considered to be an inflammation of the larynx that is characterized by the voice loss and the irritation of the vocal chords. There can be many cause of laryngitis and that includes smoking, shouting and severe gastroesophageal reflux or GERD and various other allergies. Some of the common causes of the laryngitis is infection that can either be viral or bacterial. The laryngitis can also be caused by some medical condition like the tonsillitis, bronchitis and also pneumonia.

One of the most common causes is the viral laryngitis that is an infection caused in the upper respiratory tract like it happens in common cold and flu. This kind of common viral laryngitis can be treated with antibiotics where the doctors will prescribe the medication, the stream inhalations and lots of fluid. The viral laryngitis cannot be contagious and generally gets cured within couple of days. You can use a cool mist humidifier in the bedroom and avoid all addictions especially smoking. Actually, the best way to treat the laryngitis is to treat the symptoms because you cannot treat from the core of the viral laryngitis.

Whenever there is fever, it can suppose to be a bacterial laryngitis. This can be contagious and is generally acquired from any external sources or an infected human body. The bacterial laryngitis can last up to two or three days and then it disappears. When the infection is serious it can even last for about two weeks. Apart from fever, there can be other symptoms difficulty swallowing, simple sore throat, pain extending to the ears and colored nasal discharge. The bacterial laryngitis in child can be serious and they cab even acquire epiglottitis where the air passage can gets blocked completely.

For curing bacterial laryngitis, the doctors may suggest you antibiotics. While the symptoms can be treated at home with hot drinks and voice rest. Until the infection gets cleared it is better to speak less with others.

When people asks “Is laryngitis contagious?”  -it can rightly be said that generally this condition remains contagious unless the affected person uses an article with the mouth that is generally being used by a healthy person.


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      Guest 5 years ago

      This is all wrong. Wow, bad medical advice.