Also known as hoarse voice or dysphonia
Hoarseness is a symptom and not a disease. It is a general term that describes abnormal voice changes.
Hoarseness is a harsh, rough, raspy quality to the voice or there may be changes in volume (loudness) or pitch (how high or low the voice is).
It appears to occur more commonly in females and the elderly.
Mostly it is due to an issue with the vocal cords and may involve an inflamed larynx (voice box). This is known as laryngitis.
The voice box, or larynx, is the portion of the respiratory (breathing) tract containing the vocal cords that produce sound. It is located between the pharynx and the trachea. The larynx, also called the voice box, is a 2-inch-long, tube-shaped organ in the neck.
Hoarseness is typically caused by a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract.
Common factors that can cause, contribute to, or worsen your condition include:
➲ Acid reflux
➲ Drinking caffeinated and alcoholic beverages
➲ Screaming, prolonged singing, or otherwise overusing your vocal cords
➲ Inhaling toxic substances
➲ Coughing excessively
Less common causes
Some less common causes of hoarseness include:
➲ Polyps (abnormal growths) on the vocal cords
➲ Throat, thyroid, or lung cancer
➲ Damage to the throat, such as from the insertion of a tube
➲ Male adolescence (when the voice deepens)
➲ Poorly functioning thyroid gland
➲ Aortic aneurysms (swelling of a portion of the aorta, the largest artery of the heart)
➲ Nerve conditions that weaken the voice box muscles