When To Call A Professional
Hoarseness that doesn't go away or keeps coming back should never be ignored because it also can be a symptom of certain head and neck cancers. People who drink or smoke heavily are at especially high risk of these cancers. So, if hoarseness lasts more than two weeks, make an appointment to see your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist (an otolaryngologist, also called an ear, nose and throat doctor) for evaluation and treatment.
If you are willing to make lifestyle changes to treat your chronic laryngitis, the outlook is usually very good. This is especially true for people whose chronic laryngitis is related to smoking, alcohol, work exposure or voice abuse. For people with GERD, a combination of dietary changes and medications to decrease acid production can cure chronic laryngitis in up to two-thirds of cases.
On the other hand, if you have chronic laryngitis and you continue to expose yourself to factors that irritate your larynx, you eventually can develop small nodules or polyps (fingerlike growths) on your vocal cords, which may need to be removed surgically to improve your voice.
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders NIDCD Information Clearinghouse 1 Communication Ave. Bethesda, MD 20892 Phone: (301) 496-7243 Toll-Free: (800) 241-1044 Fax: (301) 402-0018 TTY: (301) 402-0252 http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/
American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery One Prince St. Alexandria, VA 22314-3357 Phone: (703) 836-4444 http://www.entnet.org/
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) 10801 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852 Phone: (301) 897-5700 Toll-Free: (800) 498-2071 Fax: (301) 571-0457 TTY: (301) 897-0157 http://www.asha.org/
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disorders Office of Communications and Public Liaison Building 31, Room 9A04 Center Drive, MSC 2560 Bethesda, MD 20892-2560 Phone: (301) 496-3583 Fax: (301) 496-7422 http://www.niddk.nih.gov/
American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) 4900 B South, 31st St. Arlington, VA 22206 Phone: (703) 820-7400 Fax: (703) 931-4520 http://www.acg.gi.org/
U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) 200 Constitution Ave. Washington, D.C. 20210 Phone: (202) 693-1999 Toll-Free: (800) 321-OSHA (6742) http://www.osha.gov/