African Journal of Respiratory Medicine
The Larynx: Gateway to Voice and Breathing

Commentary - (2024) Volume 19, Issue 2

Damie Kansa*
*Correspondence: Damie Kansa, Department of Pulmonology, Columbia University, USA, Email:

Received: 01-Apr-2024, Manuscript No. ajrm-24-134604; Editor assigned: 03-Apr-2024, Pre QC No. ajrm-24-134604 (PQ); Reviewed: 17-Apr-2024, QC No. ajrm-24-134604; Revised: 22-Apr-2024, Manuscript No. ajrm-24-134604 (R); Published: 29-Apr-2024, DOI: 10.54931/1747-5597.24.19.13

Department of Pulmonology, Columbia University, USA


Nestled within the intricate anatomy of the human throat lies a small yet remarkable structure known as the larynx. Often referred to as the voice box, this vital organ serves not only as a conduit for sound production but also plays a crucial role in facilitating breathing and protecting the airway. In this article, we delve into the anatomy, function, and significance of the larynx in the context of human physiology and communication. The larynx is a complex structure located in the anterior aspect of the neck, situated between the base of the tongue and the trachea. Key anatomical features of the larynx include: The larynx is primarily composed of several cartilages, including the thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilage, arytenoid cartilages, and epiglottis. These cartilages provide structural support and help maintain the patency of the airway. Suspended within the laryngeal framework are the vocal cords, also known as vocal folds. These delicate folds of mucous membrane and muscle are essential for phonation (speech production) and regulate the passage of air during breathing. The space between the vocal cords is called the glottis, which serves as the narrowest part of the laryngeal airway and plays a crucial role in phonation and breathing. A leaf-shaped cartilage located above the glottis, the epiglottis acts as a protective flap during swallowing, preventing food and liquid from entering the airway and directing them toward the esophagus. The larynx performs multiple functions essential for respiration, phonation, and protection of the airway. Its primary roles include: The larynx houses the vocal cords, which vibrate when air passes through them, producing sound waves that are shaped into speech sounds by the articulatory organs (lips, tongue, palate, and teeth). This process enables humans to communicate through speech and language. During breathing, the larynx plays a crucial role in regulating airflow and preventing foreign objects from entering the lower respiratory tract. The vocal cords adjust their position to control the size of the glottis, allowing for the passage of air while protecting the airway. The larynx coordinates with other structures in the throat to facilitate swallowing. The epiglottis closes over the glottis during swallowing, directing food and liquids into the esophagus and away from the trachea. The larynx houses sensory receptors that initiate the cough reflex in response to irritants or foreign particles, helping to expel them from the airway and prevent aspiration.

The larynx holds profound significance in human communication, enabling speech and language, which are integral to social interaction, education, and professional endeavors. Additionally, its role in protecting the airway and facilitating breathing underscores its importance in sustaining life and preventing respiratory compromise. Disorders affecting the larynx can have significant implications for voice production, breathing, and swallowing. Common laryngeal conditions include: Inflammation of the larynx, often resulting in hoarseness or loss of voice. Benign growths on the vocal cords that can impair voice quality and cause vocal fatigue. Malignant tumors affecting the tissues of the larynx, which may require surgical intervention, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Dysfunction of the nerves controlling the movement of the vocal cords, leading to changes in voice quality and swallowing difficulties. Narrowing of the laryngeal or tracheal airway, which can result from trauma, inflammation, or scarring, leading to breathing difficulties.


The Authors are very thankful and honoured to publish this article in the respective Journal and are also very great full to the reviewers for their positive response to this article publication.

Conflict Of Interest

We have no conflict of interests to disclose and the manuscript has been read and approved by all named authors.

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