Acute laryngitis is a cause of voice loss. laryngitis is when your voice box becomes irritated. Most cases of laryngitis are caused by infections.

You can also irritate your voice box when you overuse your voice — like when yelling at a sports game or concert — or from exposure to environmental irritants like pollution and smoke.

Inflammation of the voice box

Your voice box has your vocal cords. Your vocal cords open and close when you talk. They make sounds when air passes through them.

When your vocal cords are swollen or inflamed, your voice becomes distorted and may sound hoarse, raspy, or become too quiet to hear.

Laryngitis typically heals on its own and lasts less than 3 or 4 weeks. However, it can sometimes become chronic (long-lasting).

Getting your voice back involves treating inflammation and irritation in your voice box.

There are some methods to try.

1. Rest your voice

“The most important factor in healing laryngitis is rest. If you don’t use your voice, you give your vocal cords the chance to recover from inflammation.”

If you must talk, try to not talk for a day or two.

2. Don’t whisper

You should not whisper when your voice is not normal, and you should not whisper when your voice is bad.

“When you whisper, your vocal cords are pulled tight and can’t vibrate, which puts extra strain on them. Instead of whispering, use a confidential voice.”

3. Talk with a doctor about medication

Corticosteroids are prescription medications that help reduce inflammation. If you’re someone whose work depends on your ability to talk or sing, your doctor may consider giving you a short course of steroids to speed up healing.

However, corticosteroids have risks and should not be routinely prescribed. They may not be suitable for everyone,

4. Drink warm liquids

When you are healing from laryngitis, you should always drink plenty of fluids. If you have a viral infection, resting and drinking plenty of fluids will help you heal quickly.

Warm liquids like tea, broth, or soup may help soothe your irritated throat, keep your airways moisturized, and thin out mucus. Try drinking around 60 ounces per day.

Avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee and black tea, as they can lead to dehydration. If skipping your morning coffee is out of the question, be sure to replenish your fluids with water or herbal tea.

5. Gargle salt water

Gargling warm salt water may help treat laryngitis by keeping your throat moist. It can also kill any bacteria.

gargling two or three times per day until your voice returns is a method of gargling.

6. Suck on a lozenge

Suck on a throat lozenge and it will increase saliva production.

Try a lozenge containing honey, which has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

7. Take a hot shower

The steam from a hot shower can help soothe your throat.

Taking a hot shower or bath several times a day can help reduce hoarseness and clear the vocal cords of sticky mucus that can cause laryngitis.

8. Get a humidifier

Inhaling humidified steam can help keep your voice strong and help remove the gunk from your vocal cords.

Try to use a humidifier throughout the day and sleep with it.

9. Avoid smoking

If you’re a regular smoker or vaper, try taking a few days off. Smoking is commonly linked to throat inflammation, so anyone healing from laryngitis should avoid smoking and stay out of smoky environments.

If you’re unable to quit nicotine right away, consider using a nicotine patch or other smoking cessation aid.

10. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol can dry out your throat and make you feel unwell.

When you want to get your voice back, avoiding alcohol is a good idea.

Laryngitis doesn’t typically require treatment. It’s often caused by a viral infection, so antibiotics won’t help. Symptoms typically clear up on their own within 3 to 7 days.

If you have a job that depends on your voice, your doctor may be willing to prescribe a medication to decrease inflammation.

If your laryngitis symptoms last longer than 2 weeks, or if your symptoms are very painful and you have trouble swallowing, you should see a doctor. You may have chronic laryngitis or laryngitis caused by acid reflux.

If you need a specialist, your doctor can recommend one.