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"Can your vocal chords become infected?"

ZocdocAnswersCan your vocal chords become infected?


I lost my voice and after it cam back I have a scratchy feeling in my throat and it is still sore. Can you get an infection in your vocal chords? Is that what is happening to me?


Laryngitis (literally meaning inflammation of the larynx) can be caused by many different things. It can cause a range of symptoms (sore throat, pain with swallowing, etc), however the vocal symptoms can range from hoarseness to aphonia (loss of voice). This is likely due to inflammatory change of the vocal folds. The layrnx (voice box) is an interesting organ, because dysphonia (abnormal voice) can be the manifestation of infection, pathology (like a mass, nodule, polyp, etc), lung problem (like poor breath support), or a functional problem. Likely if you had a URI (upper respiratory infection) resulting in cough, sore throat, etc that led to your laryngitis, there is some persistent swelling in the vocal folds that is giving you a "scratchy" voice. This can take a while to get better, because any inflammation with affect the vibratory motion of the vocal folds and alter, or disrupt the quality of your voice. Inflammation can also persistently irritate nerve endings that can either give a globus sensation (the feeling that you have something stuck in your throat), or pain. I would recommend making an appointment to see an otolaryngologist (ENT) to get your larynx looked at. They will be able to give you more directed information as to what is actually going on after examining you. I hope this is helpful.

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