Hoarseness of Voice
Hoarseness generally refers to abnormal voice changes, including changes in quality, volume and pitch. This can be due to disorders, irritation of or injury to the vocal cords, which are two bands of muscle inside the larynx or voice box. When breathing, the vocal cords remain apart; when singing or speaking, they contract, vibrate and produce sound. Swelling or lumps on the vocal cords can prevent them from contracting properly, causing changes in the voice.
What causes hoarseness?
Hoarseness can be brought about by a number of conditions, such as acute laryngitis (inflammation of the vocal cords), vocal nodules, thyroid issues, and cancers of the voice box and gullet. A thorough examination and diagnosis is required to accurately pinpoint the cause.
Should I seek medical attention?
You should see a doctor if the hoarseness of voice persists for over two weeks, or if you also experience a loss or severe change in voice, difficulty in swallowing or a lump in the neck.
Learn about our diagnostic and treatment services for voice disorders here.