Why would an (otherwise healthy) young boy have a permanently gravelly voice for his whole life?

Both this article from a prominent children's hospital mention a wide variety of causes. Another less formal article, but also from a highly reputable children's hospital mentions some causes, but none that could explain a life-long condition.

Since we're talking about a life long condition, and no known trauma to the larynx, it seems reasonable to assume that a physiological abnormality is at play.

What physiological causes would be among the most common?

  • The problem is, there could be a dozen causes, and those causes can't be identified without examining the child, obtaining a full medical history, and perhaps running tests. So I understand that you weren't directly asking for medical advice, but the question can't be answered for the same reasons that medical advice questions can't be answered. Any answer you get would be speculative at best and purely opinion-based, which makes it off topic. [continued...]
    – Carey Gregory
    Jan 21, 2022 at 0:52
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    @CareyGregory I think you're being pedantic. Sure, there could be a million reasons. I'm not asking for an exhaustive list, just something. I've reworded the question. If it's still off topic, please edit it so it's on topic. I don't understand what the problem is with this question - its intention is clear. It's not an exam question. I'm just curious.
    – Bohemian
    Jan 21, 2022 at 1:49
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    This site doesn't require medical training. It requires you to demonstrate that you made some degree of effort to answer the question on your own. You'll find the same requirement on almost all the science and academic sites. Judging by your rep elsewhere, I'm guessing you're quite capable of doing that. What you're asking is basically a 'gimme the codez' question.
    – Carey Gregory
    Jan 21, 2022 at 2:10
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    @IanCampbell I did some searching too and found a reputable source on this very topic, but it offered no answers. Only that "you should see your doctor". That's what I'm trying to do here in an indirect way. To me, this question is about on par with other questions here: I have a narrow enough question that has a medical answer. I'm going to leave now. I don't think this site is for me.
    – Bohemian
    Jan 21, 2022 at 5:20
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    @Bohemian That link you found is all we ask. Editing it into your question would be great because it's better than the one Ian found, but even if you don't the question is reopened.
    – Carey Gregory
    Jan 21, 2022 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


As you stipulated no trauma and it has been lifelong, the first link you provided says that it could be down to

Vocal cord paralysis

  • Patients can be born with a weak vocal cord or develop weakness with movement of the vocal cords from a nerve injury. The patient will often have a raspy voice that is weak or breathy.

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