Unusual changes in the voice are known as "hoarseness." It is the transformation of voice class where someone's voice becomes high-pitched, harsh or cracking. In case of hoarseness, the voice may sound breathy, rough, stressed, or changes in volume or pitch. Voice changes are associated with disturbance in the sound-producing elements (vocal folds) of the voice box. Although at time of breathing, the vocal folds stay apart. When talking or singing, they come jointly and, as air leaves the lungs, they shake and producing sound. Inflammation or lumps on the vocal folds obstruct vibration, varying voice quality, volume, and pitch.
Mainly hoarseness is caused due to some type of injury, pain in the vocal cords, smoking, allergies, gastroesophageal reflux and laryngitis. It can also be caused by conditions such as cancer of the larynx or Parkinson's disease. The symptoms of hoarseness include trouble at time of talking or singing, having a voice that sounds rough and sometime having no voice at all. Severe symptoms that need immediate attention are difficulty in swallowing and throat ache.