PHABULOUS PHARYNX

Got a lump in your throat? Could be good to clear your pharynx, which is also often referred to as your throat.

pharynx gatewayAlthough, truth be told your throat is comprised of many different parts in addition to the pharynx. Your pharynx is part of your digestive system. It is actually divided into three sections and runs at the back of your mouth, nasal passages and larynx. The upper section, known as the nasopharynx, connects to your nasal cavity and it allows you to breathe while chewing and swallowing. It is also the end of the tunnel that allows air to enter the middle ear, the gateway to the Eustachian tubes.

The second section is the oropharynx, which is located behind the soft palate/mouth. The soft palate and the uvula, that funny little dangling bit of tissue and flesh hanging in the back of your mouth, cover the entrance to the oropharynx. On each side of the entrance to the oropharynx are the tonsils and adenoids, like little immune system guardians. The oropharynx allows the passage of air to the nasopharynx and the passage of food down to the esophagus.

pharynxSection three, which is below the oropharynx is the laryngopharynx. The laryngopharynx is located behind the larynx. Why is this starting to sound like a Dr. Seuss rhyme??? They are all lined with mucous membrane, to keep food moving and retain hydration and protect the tissue as air flows in and out.

Altogether the pharynx also helps create the vibrations that become speech/words. They work in conjunction with the other major players. Sometimes ear infections as a child and/or tonsillectomy can create an increase in air flow through the nasopharynx that can create a very nasal sounding voice. In minor cases, exercises can change the pattern, in severe cases, it can take a surgical procedure.

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