Laryngitis - laryngitis

Laryngitis - laryngitis

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Larynx catarrh - inflammation of the larynx mucosa

If you suffer from hoarseness, constant throat clearing and a lump in the throat, this may indicate laryngitis. There is a risk of total voice failure, which is why laryngitis is feared, especially in people in "speaking professions".

Definition laryngitis

Laryngitis describes inflammation of the larynx or mucous membrane on the larynx. Alternative names are, for example, larynx catarrh, laryngitis, inflammation of the larynx mucosa or larynx inflammation. The fascia distortion model also speaks of a trigger band on the neck, a cylinder distortion on the neck or a continuum distortion on the larynx.

According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) by the World Health Organization (WHO), a distinction is made between acute laryngitis and chronic laryngitis.

Symptoms of laryngitis

The main symptoms of laryngitis are usually cough and hoarseness. As mentioned at the beginning, there may also be a feeling of lump in the throat with the need to clear the throat. A fever can also develop in the course of the inflammation. The restriction of the voice can go so far that a complete loss of the voice occurs. Breathing can also be impaired, which often triggers fear and feelings of oppression in those affected. Pseudo croup can occur in small children.

Causes of laryngitis

In acute laryngitis, viruses are often the trigger, which can also affect the mucous membrane of the larynx during a cold. Irritation caused by the inhalation of (fine) dust or smoke is also considered an important factor in the development of laryngitis. The heavy use of the voice, for example in the context of the profession, is another known risk factor. This can be due to the fact that the voice, with its organic origin at the larynx, is particularly irritating for people with speaking professions or is heavily burdened by infections from the environment.

Irritation can also result from reflux if the larynx mucous membrane comes into contact with belly acid. In addition, increased mouth breathing due to poor nasal breathing is a risk factor. Because the air we breathe is poorly warmed and moistened, which irritates the upper respiratory tract and can cause inflammation.

Chronic laryngitis should always be observed, as chronic inflammation is an irritation that can lead to the formation of uninhibited cell growth or cancer more quickly.


The diagnosis of laryngitis can usually be made based on an inspection of the throat. If in doubt, a special endoscope is used for this, which can be pushed deep into the throat and allows a direct view of the mucous membrane. As part of endosopy, it is also possible to take a tissue sample for subsequent laboratory examination.

Clearly visible changes in the larynx mucosa are a reliable indicator of laryngitis, but the cause of this is not clear. The laboratory examination of a smear of the mucous membrane can also be used to determine causative pathogens, as can a blood examination, which also contributes to the exclusion of other diseases. Other diagnostic procedures are used depending on the suspected causes of laryngitis.


Important measures in the case of laryngitis are, first of all, a ban on speaking (as far as possible) and the avoidance of irritating inhalation substances (tobacco smoke, gases, vapors, dust, dry heating air) as well as bed rest in case of cold symptoms with fever. After identifying the cause of the inflammation, targeted therapy can also be carried out. For example, reflux can be treated with medication using so-called proton pump inhibitors, and antibiotics can be used in the case of a bacterial infection. In the case of viral infections, the options for drug treatment are limited to symptom relief. If the sufferer suffers from acute shortness of breath, cortisone may be administered to reduce swelling of the mucous membranes.

Naturopathy for laryngitis

The naturopathic treatment approaches, which are also often recommended in conventional medicine against laryngitis, include inhalations based on table salt. An inhaler can be borrowed from the pharmacy if necessary. Naturopathy also relies on the effects of various medicinal plants for laryngitis, with sage in particular as a tried and tested home remedy for laryngitis. This can be drunk as tea or used for gargling. Warm wraps around the neck also relieve the symptoms and can aid healing.

If there is no significant improvement after a few days or if breathing difficulties occur, you should consult a doctor immediately. Be careful, laryngitis that has not healed can become chronic!

In the manual methods of naturopathy such as osteopathy or Rolfing, causes and treatment approaches are looked beyond the acutely affected neck region. Whether there are regional adhesions in the spaces (fascia) that may cause a jam or whether there are connections with the body statics.

According to the fascia distortion model (FDM), adhesions and twists of this connective tissue represent a possible cause and at the same time the treatment approach to be chosen. In this case, the affected person describes with several fingers a line next to the larynx, which is called the trigger band, and with the thumb from the FDM therapist is treated.

Respiratory and voice therapy is particularly advisable for people in “speaking professions” who repeatedly suffer from laryngitis, in which an economical use of voice, language and breathing air is trained. In this way, unnecessary irritation of the larynx mucosa can be avoided.

If an increased susceptibility to infection is the cause of repeated larynx infections, measures are often taken in naturopathic therapy to strengthen the immune system in general, and if there is excessive acidity, a balance in the acid-base balance is also sought. (tf, fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • German professional association of ear, nose and throat specialists: laryngitis, laryngitis, pseudo croup & epiglottitis (available on August 13, 2019), hno-aerzte-im-netz.de
  • Merck and Co., Inc .: Laryngitis (accessed: Aug 13, 2019), msdmanuals.com
  • Lenarz, Thomas / Boenninghaus, Hans-Georg: Otorhinolaryngology, Springer, 14th edition, 2012
  • Austria's public health portal: laryngitis (retrieval: 13.08.2019), gesundheit.gv.at
  • Mayo Clinic: Laryngitis (accessed: August 13, 2019), mayoclinic.org

ICD codes for this disease: J04, J05, J37, J38ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.

Video: Hoarseness: Causes, Symptoms u0026 Diagnosis. Dr. Suhel Hasan (October 2022).