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Chapter V - Human Anatomy
Throat
In anatomy, the throat is the part of the neck anterior to the vertebral column. It consists of
the pharynx and larynx.
The throat contains various blood vessels, various pharyngeal muscles, the trachea
(windpipe) and the esophagus. The hyoid bone is the only bone located in the throat of
mammals.
Pharynx
The pharynx is the part of the digestive system and respiratory system of many animals
immediately behind the mouth and in front of the esophagus. In mammals, it is where the
digestive tract and the respiratory tract cross, commonly called the "throat" (which term
may also include the larynx) The pharynx attaches to the larynx, which is the first element
of the airways. The human pharynx is bent at a sharper angle than other mammal
pharynges, enabling us to produce a wider variety of sounds, but also putting us in danger
of choking.
The human pharynx is conventionally divided into three sections:
Nasopharynx: Lying behind the nasal cavity. Posterosuperiorly this extends from the level
of the junction of the hard and soft palates to the base of skull, laterally to include the fossa
of Rosenmueller. The inferior wall consists of the superior surface of the soft palate.
Oropharynx: Which lies behind the oral cavity. The anterior wall consists of the base of
tongue and vallecula; the lateral wall is made up of the tonsil, tonsillar fossa, and tonsillar
(faucial) pillars; the superior wall consists of the inferior surface of the soft palate and the
uvula.
Hypopharynx: Which includes the pharyngoesophageal junction (postcricoid area), the
piriform sinus, and the posterior pharyngeal wall.

Their inner edges contain the vocal ligament. This causes the pitch produced during phonation to rise or fall. Sensation is transferred by the superior laryngeal nerve (glottis and supraglottis) and the recurrent laryngeal nerve (subglottis and muscles). The supraglottis is that part of the larynx above the glottis. palate. . They attach to the thyroid cartilage at the front. The vocal folds can be held close together (by adducting the arytenoid cartilages). creating the prominence of the Adam's apple in humans. and lips. The larynx houses the vocal cords. The glottis is the laryngeal area of most interest to speech researchers. sealing the larynx and protecting the trachea below from foreign objects. it is not 'attached' to any other bones. and is situated at the point where the upper tract splits into the trachea and the esophagus. or voice-box. Vocal fold length and tension can be controlled by rocking the thyroid cartilage forward and backward on the cricoid cartilage. is an organ in the neck of mammals involved in protection of the trachea and sound production. It contains the ventricle of the larynx (laryngeal sinus). It connects to the thyroid cartilage just beneath the thyroid notch (the Adam's apple). The epiglottis is another cartilage that extents upwards behind the back of the tongue and projects down through the hyoid bone. The structure of the larynx is mainly composed of cartilage bound by ligaments and muscle. so that they vibrate (see phonation). as it is widely believed to be where most of the control of phonation and pitch goes on. The glottis is defined as the space between the vocal folds (more commonly known as vocal cords). the epiglottis. The muscles attached to the arytenoid cartilages control the degree of opening. Above the larynx is the hyoid bone. During swallowing the larynx (at the epiglottis and at the glottis) closes to prevent swallowed material entering the lungs. tongue. The space defined by these main cartilages can be divided roughly into the supraglottis at the top and the glottis. there is also a strong cough reflex to protect the lungs. These muscles move the larynx during swallowing. These are two roughly tetrahedral cartilages responsible for pulling the vocal folds together and apart (adduction and abduction — see Anatomical terms of location). by which (via various muscles and ligaments) the larynx is connected to the jaw and skull. which are located at the upper rim of the cricoid cartilage. and the aryepiglottal folds — two folds of connective tissue that connect the epiglottis to the arytenoid cartilages. The hyoid is the only floating bone in the body. and that is where pitch and volume are manipulated. both branches of the vagus nerve. Muscles in the aryepiglottal folds can pull the leaf-shaped epiglottis down. The cricoid cartilage resembles a signet ring (narrow in front. sound is generated in the larynx.Larynx The larynx (plural larynges). At the front is the thyroid cartilage. The inferior horns (protrusions at the bottom rear of the thyroid cartilage) of the thyroid cartilage rest on a ring-shaped cartilage called the cricoid cartilage which connects the larynx to the trachea. broader in back). The vocal folds are muscular masses coated with a mucous membrane which protects much of the respiratory tract from foreign particles. and by manipulating the tension of the muscles within the vocal folds. and to the Arytenoid cartilages at the back. While articulation of the sound (the fine manipulation that creates the many different vowel and consonant sounds of the world's languages) is achieved by the use of the teeth. the ventricular folds (or false vocal folds).

Disorders There are several things that can cause a larynx to not function properly. Diseases of the trachea include: Tracheobronchitis Tracheomalacia Tracheal fracture Airway obstruction Malignancy Esophagus The esophagus (also spelled oesophagus) or gullet is the muscular tube in vertebrates through which ingested food passes from the mouth area to the stomach. Intubation is the medical procedure of inserting an artificial tube into the trachea to permit breathing. and they are lined inside with a ciliated mucous membrane. dust. and from the pharynx to the syrinx in birds. the natural airway formed by the trachea may be damaged or closed off. it connects the pharynx. Ulcers are caused by the epiglottis hitting the trachea due to the making of certain sounds. although it is sometimes called the cardiac valve. carrying air to the lungs. where stomach acid gets pushed up into the . It is caused by the common cold or by excessive yelling. These numerous cartilaginous halfrings located one above the other along the trachea have open ends adjacent to the oesophagus. Many people experience acid reflux. Chronic laryngitis is caused by smoking. Polyps and nodules are small bumps on the vocal cords caused by excessive yelling for a long time and prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke. Acute laryngitis is the sudden inflammation and swelling of the larynx. or prolonged exposure to polluted air. loss of voice. with the stomach. It is much more serious then acute laryngitis. The trachea. pain in the throat. In ill or injured persons. The esophagus is lined with mucous membrane. but is actually more of a stricture. cardia or cardias. The rings are connected by muscular and fibrous tissue. It is not serious. frequent yelling. Some symptoms are hoarseness. It is lined with ciliated cells which push particles out and cartilage rings which reinforce the trachea and prevent it from collapsing on itself during the breathing process. The junction between the esophagus and the stomach is not actually considered a valve. Finally. Specifically. See also choking. two types of cancer. squamous cell carcinoma and verrucous carcinoma. or windpipe. which is the body cavity that is common to the digestive system and respiratory system behind the mouth (buccal cavity). with teeth and tongue masticating food and mixing it with saliva). These are both caused almost exclusively by repeated exposure to cigarette smoke. Food is passed through the esophagus by using the process of peristalsis. where the second stage of digestion is initiated (the first stage of digestion is in the mouth. and is more deeply lined with muscle that acts with peristaltic action to move swallowed food down to the stomach. in mammals. and breathing difficulties. is a tube extending from the larynx to the bronchi in mammals. Trachea Trachea is a common biological term for an airway through which respiratory gas transport takes place in organisms.

Some people also experience a sensation known as globus esophagus. where it feels as if a ball is lodged in the lower part of the esophagus. commonly termed heartburn. causing a burning sensation.esophagus. The word "esophagus" is the result of the "o" being dropped from the typographic œ (oe) in "œsophagus". Esophageal diseases and conditions The following are diseases and conditions that affect the esophagus: Achalasia Bleeding varices Chagas disease Caustic injury to the esophagus Esophageal cancer Esophageal web Esophageal speech Esophageal spasm Esophageal stricture Esophagitis GERD Mallory-Weiss syndrome Neurogenic dysphasia Plummer-Vinson syndrome Schatzki's ring Zenker's diverticulum . leading to a potentially cancerous condition called Barrett's Esophagus. Extended exposure to heartburn may erode the lining of the esophagus.