Is Laryngitis Contagious?

Laryngitis is a medical condition characterized by an inflammation of the larynx. Also known as the voice box, the larynx is a muscular organ that connects your throat to your windpipe. According to Cleveland Clinic, laryngitis occurs when the vocal cords in your larynx are either irritated, infected, or overused. This can affect the sound of your voice and the way your throat feels. That's because the swelling of the vocal cords can distort the sounds and vibrations that pass through them.

Common symptoms of laryngitis include hoarseness, trouble speaking, sore throat, dry cough, and tickling in the back of your throat. While anyone can get laryngitis at any age, people who smoke, drink heavily, have a respiratory infection, or use their voices frequently are more likely to be affected. However, not everyone will experience laryngitis the same way. While most people with laryngitis will have acute laryngitis, which is temporary, some people will develop chronic laryngitis, which can last weeks.

Laryngitis can be contagious sometimes

Laryngitis is only contagious if it's caused by an infection. If your laryngitis is the result of a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection, it can spread to other people (via Healthline). For instance, viral laryngitis is triggered by a temporary viral infection and usually resolves on its own within a week or two.

Bacterial laryngitis, on the other hand, is usually caused by an overgrowth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, which can be treated with a dose of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Meanwhile, fungal laryngitis is caused by a buildup of fungus and is more likely to develop in immunocompromised people.

While viral laryngitis is the most infectious cause of the condition, bacterial and fungal laryngitis are more contagious. If you think you have laryngitis, you should contact your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis, especially if it lasts for more than three weeks. Most cases of laryngitis, however, can be managed with throat lozenges, honey, and warm liquids.