What Is Infectious Laryngitis?
There are instances when the larynx, or in other words the voice box, can get infected by bacteria, viruses, or fungi/molds resulting in acute laryngitis with resultant acute throat pain. Laryngitis can be taken as a response of the larynx to the presence of these organisms. When our body tries to get rid of these foreign substances, redness and swelling occurs along with throat pain. This is called as infectious laryngitis. There are two types of infectious laryngitis, bacterial and viral. In this article, we will focus on bacterial causes of laryngitis resulting in throat pain and its causes as well as treatment.
What Is Bacterial Laryngitis?
Bacterial laryngitis develops due to a bacterial infection in the larynx. Bacteria causing the infection can infiltrate through the body via inhalation through the air from another individual who is a carrier of the organism or is recovering from an infection.
What Are The Forms Of Bacteria Responsible For Bacterial Laryngitis Causing Throat Pain?
The group of bacteria causing bacterial laryngitis are Group A streptococcus, streptococcus pneumoniae, hemophilus influenzae etc.
Symptoms of Throat Pain Due To Bacterial Laryngitis
The Common Symptoms Accompanying Bacterial Laryngitis Are:
- Sore throat
- Pain with swallowing
- Hoarseness of voice
It can also be accompanied by symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection. Some of the common symptoms of URI are:
- Nasal discharge
- Nasal congestion
- Facial pain
- Sore throat
- Hoarseness of voice
- Ear pain
- Fullness feeling of the ear
- Swelling of the lymph nodes present in the neck
There have been rare cases where inflammation progresses to the extent of making breathing difficult, which can be accompanied by noisy breathing present with both inspiration and expiration.
Diagnosis for Throat Pain Due To Bacterial Laryngitis
A physician will do a careful inspection of the throat and the larynx. The examination may reveal redness along with swelling throughout the larynx. In this case, the involvement of the epiglottis is more when compared to other forms of laryngitis. The epiglottis becomes bright red in color and swells to an extent as to limit the passage of air through the larynx. Presence of pus virtually confirms the presence of a bacterial infection.
How Can I Prevent Contracting Bacterial Laryngitis Resulting In Throat Pain?
It is generally difficult to avoid coming in contact with bacteria causing laryngitis as they generally occur in our surroundings and transmit themselves through air or by coming in contact with an infected person but one can follow the following remedies so as to reduce the risk of contracting the infection.
- Maintaining appropriate hygiene.
- Avoid sharing of food, drinks, and utensils from an infected individual.
- Avoid direct contact with an infected individual.
- Washing hands, especially before eating and after coughing or sneezing.
- Using hand sanitizers.
- Avoiding smoking is paramount or getting exposed to second-hand smoke.
Treatment for Throat Pain Due To Bacterial Laryngitis
- Treatment for bacterial laryngitis usually is done by using antibiotics. This can be done either orally or via intravenous line. Antibiotics are given intravenously when the infection gets severe enough to cause dyspnea. Generally, bacterial laryngitis resolves with appropriate treatment with antibiotics.
- Also, humidified air helps a great deal in calming down the irritation and keeps the larynx wet and thoroughly lubricated.
- There are instances when steroids are used due to severe swelling of the larynx resulting in partial obstruction of the airway leading to dyspnea.
- There are absolutely rare cases where swelling gets so severe that there is obstruction of the airway resulting in severe dyspnea. In such cases, a tracheostomy may be required and even endotracheal intubation in order to bypass the obstruction and allow free passage of air to the lungs.
What Is the Prognosis and Possible Complications of Throat Pain Due To Bacterial Laryngitis
- The prognosis is generally good as it is a minor ailment and resolves in a few weeks with the use of appropriate antibiotics.
- The complications in such minor ailments are rare and at maximum complications which can occur due to bacterial laryngitis is dysphonia, cough, or stridor.
When Should I Seek Professional Medical Advice?
Most cases of bacterial laryngitis are successfully treated with antibiotics but medical advice needs to be sought if the symptoms do not resolve in a few weeks.