Infection of the larynx or voice box is laryngitis. Majority of the cases of laryngitis are caused by viruses such as Rhinovirus, Influenza, Adenovirus, Coxsakie virus, Corona virus and RSV. Some bacterial such as Streptococcus C, Clostridium Diphtheria, Mycobacterium cataralyis, also cause laryngitis. Mycobacterium Tuberculosis laryngitis is difficult to distinguish from cancer of larynx. Histoplasma and Blastomycosis and Candida or thrush, can also cause laryngitis. This usually happens in patients whose immune system is suppressed, such as in HIV and those who have recently had chemotherapy.
Hoarseness of voice, reduced vocal pitch or aphonia, or other symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as fever, nasal congestion and sore throat, may be associated with laryngitis. Examination of the larynx shows redness and swelling. In chronic conditions such as TB laryngitis, nodular lesions and small ulcers may be present in the larynx.
Voice rest and humidification are main lines of treatment. Antibiotics are recommended only in Streptococcus infections. Chronic laryngitis may require having a biopsy of the larynx.