Laryngitis is the term that is used to indicate an inflammation or infection of the voice box (larynx). This causes change of voice or hoarseness. Laryngitis can be acute or chronic.
How long does laryngitis last
Acute laryngitis: Laryngitis that starts all of a sudden and lasts no more than 2 weeks is called acute laryngitis. In most cases it is caused because of viral upper respiratory infection, overuse of voice, or irritation of the throat because of excessive smoking. In all these cases symptoms improve within 10 to 14 days with appropriate self care. In people with laryngitis because of strain or overuse of voice (such as after cheering at a sports event) rest to voice is important for recovery. If proper rest is given to voice the symptoms improve in a few days. But people who continue to overuse their voice, (such as professional singers or teachers) and are not able to rest the voice may develop chronic laryngitis. Laryngitis caused because of excessive smoking and alcohol usually improves if the irritants are avoided. However if there is continued exposure to irritants then laryngitis may become chronic.
Chronic laryngitis: When symptoms of laryngitis last for 2 weeks or longer, or if you have recurrent symptoms then it is considered chronic. Chronic laryngitis can be caused because of several conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), allergy or irritation due to smoking, repeated overuse of voice. Most cases with chronic symptoms improve with appropriate treatment. In some cases chronic laryngitis may last for weeks or even months. The hoarseness may become permanent as a result of permanent damage to the larynx. Besides this, chronic laryngitis has a tendency to recur especially in people who overuse their voice, such as professional singers or teachers (as they are unable to rest their voice properly).