How is laryngitis diagnosed?

Acute laryngitis

If you have laryngitis, the infection is usually short term (acute), and will improve on its own after about 7 days, so you won’t need to see a doctor to diagnose it.

However, you should contact your doctor if:

  • you are having trouble breathing
  • your symptoms get worse
  • you have a fever and swollen ‘glands’ (lymph nodes) in your neck
  • your symptoms last for longer than 3 weeks (chronic laryngitis).

Find out more about the symptoms of laryngitis and how to relieve these symptoms.

Chronic laryngitis

If you have chronic laryngitis, your doctor will ask you some questions about your health, including:

  • what your symptoms are
  • if you have had a cold or flu (influenza) recently
  • if you smoke
  • if you are taking any medicines
  • if have any other medical conditions (e.g. asthma).

Your doctor may examine your throat to see if there any other signs of infection.

Your doctor may use a sterile cotton swab to take a small sample of cells from your throat, which can be sent to a laboratory to find out what is causing the infection.

If your doctor can’t find out what is causing your chronic laryngitis, they may refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist doctor who will carry out some more tests.