Abnormal changes in the voice are called “hoarseness.” When hoarse, the voice may sound breathy, raspy, strained, or show changes in volume or pitch (depending on how high or low the voice is).
Abnormal changes in the voice are called “hoarseness.” When hoarse, the voice may sound breathy, raspy, strained, or show changes in volume or pitch (depending on how high or low the voice is). Voice changes are related to disorders in the sound-producing parts (vocal folds) of the voice box (larynx). While breathing, the vocal folds remain apart. When speaking or singing, they come together and, as air leaves the lungs, they vibrate, producing sound. Swelling or lumps on the vocal folds hinder vibration, altering voice quality, volume, and pitch.
What are the causes of hoarseness?
• Acute Laryngitis: The most common cause is acute laryngitis—swelling of the vocal fold that occurs during a common cold, upper respiratory tract viral infection, or from voice strain. Serious injury to the vocal folds can result from strenuous voice use during an episode of acute laryngitis.
• Voice Misuse:
• Speaking in noisy situations
• Excessive use
• Telephone use with the handset cradled to the shoulder
• Using inappropriate pitch (too high or too low) when speaking
• Not using amplification when public speaking
• Benign Vocal Cord Lesions: Prolonged hoarseness can occur when you use your voice too much, or too loudly for extended periods of time. These habits can lead to nodules, polyps, and cysts. Vocal nodules (singers’ nodes) are callus-like growths of the vocal folds. Vocal fold polyps and cysts also occur in those who misuse their voice, but can also occur in those who do not.