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What causes hoarseness, shortness of breath and sore throat? 4 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.



This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Epiglottitis is a life-threatening condition characterized by inflamed epiglottis tissue. Once the airway becomes blocked, an adult or child may exhibit bluish discoloration of their skin or lips from lack of oxygen.

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Chronic Laryngitis

Laryngitis occurs when your voice box (larynx) and vocal cords become swollen and irritated. This fairly common condition often causes hoarseness or loss of voice. A range of issues can cause laryngitis, includin...

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Croup is a viral condition that causes swelling around the vocal cords. It is characterized by breathing difficulties and a bad cough that sounds like a barking seal. Many of the viruses responsible for croup also caus...

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Diphtheria is a sometimes fatal bacterial infection that affects the nose and throat's membranes. Diptheria of the skin may show up as a red rash.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.