Laryngitis is loss of voice caused by irritation of the vocal cords.  The voice may sound weak, breathy, scratchy, or husky.

A wide range of disorders, ranging from Multiple Sclerosis to obesity, can cause changes in voice quality.  However, most cases of Laryngitis are associated with allergies, asthma, colds and flu, since many acute infection of the upper respiratory tract makes the mucosa lining of the vocal cords vulnerable to injury.

Coughing and clearing of the throat, especially with exposure to tobacco smoke, irritate the vocal cords and may worsen or provoke hoarseness.  Emotional stress can interfere with fine motor control of the voice box muscles.