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A change in the sound of a voice which is called hoarseness may imply a voice that is, breathy, croaky, raspy, or strained.

Hoarseness usually implies that there is a disorder of the vocal cords which is the part of the larynx (voice box) where sound is produced. During phonation the vocal cords come together and they vibrate allowing the production of voice. Anything that interferes with the cords coming together or the vibration will result in hoarseness like swelling or lumps which makes a change in the voice.

What Causes Hoarseness?

Most are benign and tend to go away in a short period of time. Some of the common causes include Acute Laryngitis, Vocal Nodules and Polyps, and Gastroesophageal Reflux, where as some less commoner causes include paralysed vocal cords due to improper function of the nerves that supply them, thyroid problems, neurological disorders, trauma, and cancers of the larynx and pharynx."

For these reasons and especially to exclude something sinister especially in adult smokers anyone with hoarseness over two weeks should see a specialist ENT surgeon. Some other symptoms associated with hoarseness that require an appointment soon with doctor include, coughing or spitting up blood, difficulty swallowing or a lump in the neck.