Laryngitis is the term used to indicate an inflammation of the voice box (larynx). It can occur because of overuse of voice, irritation or infection. Depending on the underlying cause, laryngitis may be short-lived (acute) or long lasting (chronic). In most people laryngitis is caused because of viral infection or vocal strain and they aren't serious. If you have persistent hoarseness then it may be caused because of some serious underlying medical condition.
Prognosis of laryngitis
Laryngitis in people with an upper respiratory infection (URI) caused by a virus, such as the common cold and flu is usually not serious. Prognosis is good for these cases and most of the viral laryngitis symptoms improve within 10 to 14 days.
Prognosis of laryngitis caused because of strain or overuse of voice (such as after cheering at a sports event) is good in most people. If proper you take proper rest and don’t strain your 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 also improves considerably if the irritants are avoided. However if you continue to smoke and consume alcohol with laryngitis (particularly if you have a cold or other respiratory infection) hoarseness of voice may become chronic.
Prognosis of chronic laryngitis is a concern. Consult your doctor if hoarseness or change in voice lasts more than 2 to 3 weeks. If laryngitis is cause because of some treatable condition such as gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), allergy or irritation due to smoking symptoms improve with appropriate treatment. However if is caused by some serious condition, such as a tumour on the voice box (laryngeal carcinoma), laryngeal papilloma on the vocal folds then the prognosis becomes guarded. If chronic laryngitis develops it may last for weeks or even months. The hoarseness may become permanent as a result of permanent damage to the larynx. 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).