Hoarseness can affect any age and can be alone or associated with other local symptoms such as swallowing problems, breathing issues; including stridor and coughing.  Hoarseness may also be a normal aging phenomenon.  This condition can be acute or chronic [ longer than 3 weeks], continuous or intermittent and may be the only symptoms , or maybe associated with systemic problems such as flu, shortness of breath and weight loss.  The contributing factors can either be internal or external.  Internal factors are for instance: reflux, vocal overuse and sinusitis.  External ones include: fume inhalation, smoking and trauma.