Hoarseness is a term used to describe a change in voice. A hoarse voice may sound raspy, crackly, strained, or off-pitch. Any change in voice from normal is termed a hoarse voice. Hoarseness may be due to lesions on the vocal folds or changes to the the nerves that control the vocal folds. At times hoarsenss is due to a specific manner in which someone is using their vocal folds.
Evaluation of a patient with hoarseness involves a full history and head and neck examination. Laryngoscopy and stroboscopy are commonly used during evaluation. Once the reason for hoarseness is determined, a physician may employ a number of treatment options including voice rest, voice therapy, or even surgery.