Bronchitis and laryngitis are both forms of inflammation that cause your voice to become raspy or hoarse.
Bronchitis Vs. Laryngitis
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, the air passages between the mouth and the lungs. There are two types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. Acute is a short term cough that can last up to five days. Chronic is long-term cough that can last anywhere from a few months to a couple of years. Some cases of acute bronchitis can lead to chronic bronchitis. Some coughs that continue to linger can be signs of other illnesses such as asthma or pneumonia.
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box, or larynx and the vocal cords. Depending upon the degree of inflammation , the voice may become mildly hoarse, and may lead to temporary loss of voice. Laryngitis manifest quickly with symptoms that may last for a few days or a couple of weeks. If symptoms last longer than three weeks, it is recommended that individuals seek medical attention as this could be a sign of something more serious.
Viral and bacterial infections such as the common cold are the most common causes of bronchitis and laryngitis. Other causes can be excessive vocal abuse for professions such as being a cheerleader or a singer, or lifestyle factors such as being exposed to dust, chemical irritants, and cigarette smoke.
Symptoms of both infections can come on suddenly and usually consist of a persistent cough, hoarseness, raw throat, the feeling of needing to clear your throat. Other symptoms can include chest tightening, body aches, blocked nose and sinuses, breathlessness, high or low fever.
When to see a doctor
With most cases of minor colds, home remedies and bed rest can help alleviate symptoms of acute bronchitis or laryngitis within a few days. The best treatment for cases of bronchitis or laryngitis is to simply rest your voice and stay well hydrated, drinking plenty of cold or hot fluids to sooth your throat.
You should seek medical treatment if your cough:
- Lasts longer than two weeks
- Prevents a good night’s rest
- Is accompanied by a high fever
- Produces blood or discolored mucus
- Causes difficulty while breathing
At AFC Doctors Express West Orange, our physicians can test for a number of respiratory infections, including bronchitis and laryngitis. Our on-site lab will provide you with quick results so we can provide you with treatment and any medical information that will help in your recovery process.
For more information on the services we provide, please stop by our center today, or call to speak with one of our medical professionals at 973-669-5900.