Is Laryngitis Contagious? How Long Will I Be Contagious?

Is Laryngitis Contagious

What Is Laryngitis? Is Laryngitis Contagious?

Having that scratchy feeling in your throat? Unable to speak loudly or comfortably? You might be suffering from the disease known as laryngitis. In this article, we will try to find out the answers to some common questions about laryngitis, like:

  • What is laryngitis?
  • Is laryngitis contagious?
  • How long is laryngitis contagious?
  • What are the types and how to treat them?

It is a common disease that can affect anyone of any age. People who are afflicted with this will notice difficulty speaking and some discomfort in their throat.

There are lots of home remedies that you can follow to help alleviate this discomfort. However, you need to understand is laryngitis contagious? How long will you be contagious for?

Laryngitis is contagious for a short period of time. But, with some relaxation and medicine, this ailment can be fixed soon and smoothly. Laryngitis is a disease that makes speaking hard, but luckily it can be cured.

Also Read: How to Treat Lump in the Throat (Globus Sensation)?

What is Laryngitis?

What is laryngitisLaryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx otherwise known as your voice box which contains your vocal cords.

With laryngitis, your vocal cords that are responsible for sound become inflamed.

The inflammation causes your voice to sound raspy, hoarse, or low-volume.

Laryngitis is contagious, but luckily it is not very contagious. It is caused by some irritants, overuse of the larynx or from more severe conditions.

Constant irritation of the voice box itself can lead to laryngitis. Different environmental factors can irritate the voice box.

Can you catch laryngitis? Yes, you can catch it. Viral infection causes the most common form of laryngitis. This type of the disease is laryngitis, contagious for a duration of the infection.

Types of Laryngitis

How contagious is laryngitis? Well, that depends on which kind you have. There are several different types of laryngitis that you can catch and get.

Let’s see the types of laryngitis and whether or not that one is laryngitis contagious for a long or short time.

1. Viral Laryngitis

Laryngitis types

Is viral laryngitis contagious?

Doctors and other medical professionals are unsure about this part. In many cases, viral laryngitis is associated with a cold or flu.

The symptoms are very similar to flu and cold. Viral laryngitis is not contagious in and of itself.

The cold and flu that comes with laryngitis, however, are contagious.

You will not experience an actual laryngitis contagious period because it is not contagious alone.

Is viral laryngitis contagious is something that will perplex medical professionals because you will not often see a standalone case of it, there are always other viruses present.

2. Bacterial laryngitis

Is laryngitis contagious in the bacterial form? Yes, this is 100% contagious on its own.

This type occurs from a bacterial infection of the larynx, and the symptoms that follow are usually fever, pain, nasal discharge, and difficulty swallowing.

You may experience severe symptoms if the condition is worse. You will want to refrain from spreading the disease for the laryngitis contagious period. Antibiotics that your doctor prescribes will help get rid of this faster too.

3. Fungal laryngitis

Fungal organisms cause this type of laryngitis. Is laryngitis contagious in this form? Somewhat, this requires person to person transmission to spread.

Fungal infections suppress your body’s immune system that may lead to laryngitis. The fungus penetrates the natural blood and tissue barriers in the larynx and generates a colony.

The symptoms of this come on slowly and have the same as the other types. You will need antifungal drugs to treat this.

Other Conditions

There are things in your daily environment that could cause laryngitis. The larynx is a very delicate part of your body and can be affected negatively quite easily.

You can get laryngitis from:

  • Paralysis or stroke
  • Excessive coughing
  • Exposure to severe pollution
  • Smoking and second-hand smoke
  • Alcohol
  • Thyroid inflammation

Is laryngitis contagious when caused by above conditions? No, none of these health conditions will cause contagious laryngitis.

Related Reading: Tickle in Throat: Causes and Natural Treatments

Is Laryngitis Contagious? Which Type is Contagious?

Is Laryngitis Contagious

Is laryngitis contagious? That entirely depends on which form you have contracted. See your doctor to ensure you are correctly diagnosed with the right type of laryngitis.

Doctors or medical professionals will be able to administer the tests and get the most accurate result. The types of laryngitis that are contagious are fungal and bacterial.

Viral laryngitis is contagious with the flu and cold but not on its own. If you get it from smoking cigarettes, you cannot spread that to other people.

How long is laryngitis contagious? The types each have their own laryngitis contagious periods and that can be affected by how well you take care of yourself and the problem at hand.

With bacterial, and fungal infection, you can be contagious for up to a week. Usually, you will stop being contagious two or three days after the symptoms have subsided. In other cases, as soon as you can talk clearly, you are set to go.

Related Reading: How to Treat Cough that Won’t Go Away?

How is Laryngitis Spread?

Most forms of laryngitis are spread through physical contact. Fungal laryngitis needs the physical contact for the fungus to get into the other party.

With viral and bacterial laryngitis, it is more moisture based. Cover your face while sneezing or coughing to ensure you’re not spreading the disease into the air.

After wiping your nose or mouth, the infection will also be on your hands and can get moved around that way.

Viral and bacterial laryngitis spread in the same way the common cold and flu are spread.

How contagious is laryngitis? Viral and bacterial are more contagious than fungal. Can you catch laryngitis? Yes, anyone is susceptible to catching it.

If you come down with the disease and remain in physical contact with people, you are putting them at risk. If you come down with the disease, but it is not from any infection, then there isn’t anything to spread.

Symptoms of Laryngitis –  Is Laryngitis Contagious?

Laryngitis symptoms are very similar to those of the common cold and flu. You will experience several things like but not limited to:

  • Fever
  • Hoarseness
  • A sore throat
  • Raw or irritated feeling in your throat
  • A tickling sensation in the throat
  • Dry cough
  • Throat seems to be dry

If the condition is severe, you may also experience face swelling.

At home, this could probably be misdiagnosed as a cold and can effectively be treated as such. How long is laryngitis contagious? Usually just a few days after the symptoms go away then you should be free of the disease.

Unfortunately, with the many different types of laryngitis out there this can cause problems. Seeking a medical professional will always give you the most accurate results.

Home Remedies for Laryngitis

With many forms of laryngitis being so easily treatable, there are a lot of things you can do from home to fix it.

Laryngitis Home Remedies

Below we will discuss several different home remedies that can be done to help your throat feel better.

1. Breathe Moist Air

An adequately moisturized home is good for your larynx. Breathing moist air can help repair this area.

Using a humidifier will help keep the air around your home or office moist. You can also inhale steam from a bowl of hot water or a hot shower.

2. Rest Your Voice

When your larynx is irritated, the worst thing you can do is irritate it more. You need to avoid talking or singing too loudly or for too long. If you need to speak in front of large groups, try to use a microphone. Try not to speak as much as possible. This will help your larynx repair itself.

3. Onion Syrup

Onion syrup is an effective home remedy for larynx inflammation. It acts as a natural expectorant.

Cut up three to four medium sized onions and simmer the pieces in four cups of water until the solution thickens.

Mix five tablespoons of the syrup in a glass of warm water, add one tablespoon of honey and some lemon juice. Make sure to drink the solution slowly.

4. Ginger

Ginger helps the mucous membranes of the larynx. It is good for your throat as it has anti-inflammatory properties.

How to use ginger for laryngitis? Boil thinly sliced fresh ginger root in water for 10 minutes. Cover the pan when the water starts to boil. Now, strain the liquid and let it cool to the room temperature.

You can also add lemon juice and honey. Drink this several times a day.

5. Warm Salt Water

Salt has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help treat the inflamed vocal cords and sore throat. Add one-half teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and gargle with it. Try not to swallow this mixture and do this several times a day.

6. Lemon juice

Lemon is an extremely acidic juice. It helps kill bacteria and viruses, as well as relieving various symptoms of laryngitis. It also helps loosen up mucus.

You can squeeze the lemon juice into a glass of warm water, add one-half teaspoon of sea salt (table salt works just as fine). Gargle this solution several times a day.

7. Garlic

The antimicrobial property of garlic helps kill bacteria and viruses. It also acts as a natural expectorant.

You should chew a raw garlic clove slowly and then swallow it. You can also chop several garlic cloves, place them in a jar and cover it with equal parts of raw apple cider vinegar and distilled water.

Shake the jar to mix the contents thoroughly and then let it sit for about 4 hours. Add some raw honey before storing it in the fridge. Take one to three teaspoons of this garlic syrup every six to eight hours.

When to See a Doctor

Laryngitis is contagious and a very tricky disease to deal with. It is mainly caused by viruses, overuse or strain and can usually go away without needing to see your doctor. However, you will need to see your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Coughing up blood
  • Constant fever
  • Increasing pain in the throat
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Trouble breathing
  • High-pitched breathing sounds
  • Drooling

These signs indicate the more serious condition and require medical attention. You may also be experiencing chronic laryngitis and could be the underlying cause for your laryngitis.

Read Next:

Shah R, MD. “Acute Laryngitis.” Medscape. Last edited: 12/10/2017,, Last edited – 04/12/2017
The Voice Foundation,Last accessed – 17/01/2018, Written and/or reviewed by the MediResource Clinical Team, MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2018,, Last accessed – 17/01/2018 , Date of publication – 11/09/2017, Last accessed – 17/01/2018
Husney A, Primary Medical Reviewer, MD – Family Medicine,Gregory E, MD – Internal Medicine, Mintz D, Specialist Medical Reviewer, MD – Otolaryngology
“ARTICLES ON LARYNGITIS”. Last accessed – 17/01/2018; WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise;

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