Hoarseness is an abnormal change in the voice caused by a variety of conditions and impacts approximately 43% of US adults at some point during their lives.
Characteristics may include, but are not limited to:
These changes in sound may be due to disorders related to the vocal cords located within the voice box, or larynx.
If hoarseness persists longer than two weeks, examination by an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) is recommended. Persistent changes in the voice can be an indicator of a more serious problem such as cancer. The communicative problems associated with hoarseness can lead to withdrawal, occupational handicaps, and depression.