Singers, public speakers and cheerleaders can sometimes lose their voices. The condition is officially known as laryngitis (LAIR-IN-JITE-IS), and is merely an irritation or inflammation of the voice box and vocal cords. Short of actually losing your voice, you might experience lesser symptoms such as hoarseness, rawness in the throat or a dry, hacking cough. Other possible causes of laryngitis can be a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu, or allergies. Treatment usually consists of resting the voice for a few days and drinking plenty of fluids. A humidifier can also help. If your voice remains hoarse for more than a week or two, it could be a sign of a more serious problem. A thorough examination by an ear, nose and throat specialist is normally called for under these circumstances.