Vocal cord paralysis is a voice disorder that occurs when one or both of the vocal cords do not close or do not open as they should. Paralysis of a vocal cord (unilateral paralysis) is relatively common, but paralysis of both (bilateral paralysis) is not, which may be more serious. The vocal cords vibrate when speaking to produce the voice. If one or both do not produce movement the person will have problems in the voice, but also in breathing and swallowing, which is called paralysis of the vocal cords. The classic symptoms are: hoarseness, choking voice, inability to speak aloud, variations in tone and volume, voice emission that lasts little, choking, coughing when eating, possible pneumonia or fluid in the lungs, among others.