How is voice produced?

How is voice produced?

July 15, 2011 by admin

How is voice produced?

This is a question that often comes up when a patient visits a laryngologist for a voice concern.

The production of voice is complex, relying on many different nerves and organ systems to coordinate with one another.

The production of voice, or sound, involves three major areas

  • The lungs to power voice production
  • The vocal folds to vibrate, producing sound
  • The throat, tongue, mouth, teeth, and cheeks to make the sound into words.

First, through inhalation the lungs draw in air. The diaphragm muscle, located at the bottom of the chest stretches to allow for maximal inhalation. Once the lungs are filled with enough air, muscles work to expel the air from the lungs, through the trachea, and through the vocal folds.

The brain sends signals through the recurrent laryngeal nerve, to the vocal folds. This signal instructs the vocal folds to move towards the mildline. As the air passes through the vocal folds, they are drawn together and vibrate against one another. This vibration produces sound.

One can feel this vibration taking place while holding a sound, such as the letter “e” for a prolonged period of time. The vibrations from the letter E can be felt through the voice box to the skin.

The sound produced by the vocal folds is advanced towards the throat and mouth, where the muscles of the throat, tongue, cheeks as well as the teeth and lips form the sound into words that people understand.

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Throatdisorder.com is an online resource for patients and physicians to learn more about common voice, swallowing, breathing and throat disorders. Throat complaints, from cough to cancer, are a common reason for patients to seek medical treatment. This website developed as a result of Dr. Sunil Verma's passions: that of education, patient care, and interest in technology.

NOTE : The information presented on this site is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified physician. It may not be appropriate to your individual case, and should not be used in making treatment decisions, especially with regard to medication. Considerable effort is made to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, but medicine is a changing field, and this website is not responsible for errors or omissions. Use of this website acknowledges the above.

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