Larynx pain when coughing


When coughing, many sufferers suffer from unpleasant pain in the larynx area (lat .: larynx). This cartilaginous organ connects the throat to the windpipe and is largely responsible for making sounds such as speaking, singing or screaming. On the other hand, the larynx prevents with the help of the epiglottis (lat .: epiglottis), the passage of food or liquid into the airways. If those affected now have to cough, the larynx suddenly opens and the air escapes “explosively”. For e.g. Infections of the upper respiratory tract, excruciating coughs can persist for a longer period of time and cause larynx pain. Conversely, larynx pain and the accompanying foreign body sensation can also lead to coughing.

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Throat irritation

Cough is an important one Protective reflex of our body, but also at the same time Symptom of many diseases the upper and lower respiratory tract. Before we cough, we experience a subjectively perceived urge to cough. He can i.a. caused by foreign bodies, bacteria, viruses or cold air. Sensitive nerves in the area of ​​the larynx, back throat or windpipe are stimulated and activated. Put simply, signals are then transmitted to the “cough center” of our brain. From this switching center, signals now travel downwards via motor nerves. There they excite the diaphragm, respiratory muscles and ultimately the larynx with its vocal fold apparatus.

Coughing can be a symptom of many diseases and can therefore also be associated with larynx pain.


Larynx pain when coughing can have many different causes. In addition to a general infection of the respiratory tract, such as a flu-like infection, specific diseases of the larynx can also be responsible for the symptoms:

Acute laryngitis / acute laryngitis

Laryngitis often occurs as part of an upper respiratory tract infection such as a runny nose, sinusitis or bronchitis. The disease can be observed less often after very strong vocal stress in unfavorable conditions (cold and dry air, smoke, etc.). First, hoarseness and throat irritation appear. Dry, frequent coughs ultimately cause larynx pain and can even lead to temporary voicelessness. With a pronounced clinical picture, those affected also suffer from fever and fatigue. Both bacteria (especially streptococci) and viruses can cause the disease.

Read more on the topic: Laryngitis and Laryngitis - How Contagious Is It?

Chronic laryngitis / Chronic laryngitis

In contrast to acute laryngitis, the chronic laryngitis creeping and over a longer period of time. Smokers and people with are particularly affected permanently high voice strain, such as. professional singers. Especially Middle to old age men are affected by the disease. In the foreground are more constant Coughing irritation, hoarseness and associated "throat clearing". Due to the described foreign body sensation, those affected may cough very often. This unproductive cough leads to considerable larynx pain in the long run.

foreign body

Children in particular, but also adults, can accidentally "swallow" food components or small objects. Inhaled objects stay in Larynx stuck and can there Cough and pain cause. After an initial strong cough, breathing problems or shortness of breath, the symptoms may temporarily subside, although the foreign body is still in the larynx. Those affected also suffer from sharp sore throat or larynxespecially when swallowing. If the foreign body is located in the area of ​​the larynx, hoarseness can also be observed.

Rarer causes

Larynx pain coughing can in rare cases indicate a more serious illness. E.g. Larynx tumors trigger the symptoms described. Accompanying, however, can often hoarseness observe. Even more unwanted Weight loss, night sweats, or fever can be symptoms of a Tumor disease be.


First, the patient will be detailed about his Larynx pain at the to cough questioned. Here are of particular interest Accompanying symptoms such as hoarseness, difficulty swallowing or shortness of breath. Furthermore, the time course or the exact occurrence of the complaints can be important. So pain and cough can e.g. after smoking, indicate chronic laryngitis. But also e.g. Workplaces with a high level of fine dust pollution can be the cause of the complaints.

This is followed by the physical examination. To do this, the doctor first examines and palpates the external shape of the larynx. This step provides important information, especially when there are questions about a possible tumor disease. Basically: Sudden hoarseness, which lasts for several weeks, must be clarified by a doctor.

In order to assess the larynx more precisely, the so-called "Larynxoscopy“(Indirect laryngoscopy): To do this, the patient sits upright, with his mouth wide open and his tongue out, facing the examiner. While the doctor is holding the tongue with two small gauze bandages, he carefully inserts the larynx mirror into his mouth with the other hand. With a clever reflection, the larynx can now be examined in the small mirror without actually pushing it forward that far. Usually the exam is just uncomfortable, not painful. Through the small picture in the mirror, now possible Inflammation or swelling, Mobility of the vocal cords and much more to be judged. In special cases, further investigation methods, such as direct larynxoscopy, be performed.


Basically, the therapy for larynx pain when coughing depends on the underlying disease. In addition to drug therapy, such as Antibiotics for bacterial laryngitis, simple measures can have a positive effect on healing:

  • Voice protection
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Inhalations with sage or water vapor
  • Warm neck wrap
  • Do not breathe cold or dry air

In the case of severe, threatening swelling of the larynx, cortisone preparations may be prescribed to ease it.

Read more on the topic: Treatment of larynx pain


As a rule, the prognosis for the symptoms described is good. Refraining from nicotine and normal use of our voice also protect against possible laryngeal pain when coughing.