THE PHARINX

The pharynx, an organ found in both vertebrates and invertebrates is a cone-shaped 5 inches long tube in humans. It runs behind the oral cavity, nasal cavity and right into the respiratory tract and upper oesophagus. Commonly known as the throat, it is the main resonating chamber of the voice, it connects the oesophagus to the mouth and asides this, it is said to have dual major roles.

The pharynx serves both as a digestive and respiratory organ. The primary function of the pharynx for respiration is the connection of the larynx (voice box) to the nasal cavity so as to allow the passage of air in and out of the lungs.

THE POSITION OF THE PHARINX

The pharynx is attached to the base of the skull and surrounding structures by thick fibres and tissue. There are both longitudinal and circular muscles appearing on the walls of the pharynx. The circular muscles help to form the constrictions that aid the pushing of food to the oesophagus and prevent air from being swallowed. The longitudinal fibres are also available to help lift the walls of the pharynx during the swallowing process.

GREAT BOOKS WE RECOMMEND, CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO KNOW MORE! 🙂

THE PHARINX STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS

The pharynx is split into three main parts based on the function it serves and its surrounding anatomical regions and these regions are known as the Oropharynx, Nasopharynx, and Laryngopharynx.

The three main parts of the Pharynx are vital for its healthy functioning if it is to aid the process of eating, talking and even singing that is needed. For eating and digestion, its connection of the oral cavity to the oesophagus makes it possible for food bolus to be swallowed and passed on to the stomach for continued digestion.

For talking and singing, the pharynx is responsible for the amplification of sound waves produced by the vibration of vocal folds during vocalizing in the Larynx.

  • Laryngopharynx

The first place to which the larynx opens up to is the laryngopharynx. The Laryngopharynx is the lowest part of the pharynx and it serves as a common passage for both air (respiratory function) and food (digestive function). It also functions as a conditioner for primary vibrations of the vocal folds.

  • Oropharynx

The Oropharynx is next, it is placed at the back of the mouth and extends from there into the oesophagus and it helps to move ingested food and drinks from the mouth directly into the oesophagus. It serves as the primary resonator for vocal sounds. This section of the pharynx is very flexible and it makes the differentiation of vowels very effective. That’s why vowels tend to be mostly associated with this space.

  • Nasopharynx

The Nasopharynx directs air upwards during exhalation and downwards during inhalation as it also functions as an extension of the nasal cavities. It exists just above the mouth and behind the nose and it is the highest part of the Pharynx. Of all the three sections of the Pharynx, the Nasopharynx is the largest space and it’s the most fixed meaning it doesn’t close. For that reason it serves as an ideal resonator.

 

GREAT BOOKS WE RECOMMEND, CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO KNOW MORE! 🙂

Share with your friends!

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on telegram
Share on pinterest