The larynx

Your larynx is in your neck, above your windpipe (trachea). It is also called the voicebox.

The larynx is also called the voicebox. It is in the neck, above the windpipe (trachea) and in front of the gullet (oesophagus). The windpipe is the tube that carries air to and from the lungs. The gullet is the tube that food goes down when you eat. The larynx is tube-shaped, and it is about 5cm (2in) long.


Parts of the larynx

The larynx allows the air you breathe to reach your lungs. It has a flap of skin at the top, called the epiglottis (see diagram above). When you swallow, the epiglottis sends food and liquid down the gullet, stopping it from going into the windpipe.

The larynx has two vocal cords. The vocal cords vibrate together when air passes between them. This makes the sound of your voice. The larynx is the lump you can see or feel at the front of your neck. This is known as the Adam’s apple.

The larynx has three main parts:

  • supraglottis – area above the vocal cords
  • glottis – middle area where the vocal cords are
  • subglottis – area below the vocal cords that connects to the windpipe (trachea).