"Hoarseness" is the term used by most people to describe a change in normal voice quality. It is a very nonspecific term somewhat similar to a patient's complaint of dizziness when describing symptoms from light-headedness to true vertigo. Hoarseness may imply breathiness, roughness, voice breaks, or unnatural changes in pitch. Laryngologists use the general term "dysphonia" to describe abnormal voice quality with no specific etiology implied. A complaint of hoarseness may represent serious disease and, therefore, should not be ignored, especially if it persists for more than two weeks. Before we proceed with a discussion of abnormal voice, it is imperative to understand normal voice production and the relative anatomy.