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Glottis – Structure & Function

A mirror positioned image descriptionabove the larynx shows a superior view of the vestibular and vocal folds.

Midsagittal view of the glottis
Midsagittal view of the glottis labeled vestibular and vocal fold
Superior view of vestibular and vocal folds.
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  • The vocal folds and the space between the folds are referred to as the image descriptionglottis (= glottic opening).
View of the vocal folds
Superior view of the larynx
Superior view of the larynx
Swipe to explore the surrounding structures of the glottis
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Laryngeal muscles can adjust the size of the glottic opening, depending on need.

  • While breathing, The glottis  image descriptionexpands  (= abducts) into a triangular shaped opening.
Expanded opening of glottis
Expanded opening of glottis
Expanded opening of glottis
Expanded opening of glottis
Expanded opening of glottis
Expanded opening of glottis
Expanded opening of glottis
The glottis expands into a triangular shaped opening
  • The broader opening allows air to more freely image descriptionenter and leave  the trachea and lungs.
Air entering and leaving the glottis opening
Air entering and leaving the glottis opening
Air entering and leaving the glottis opening
Air entering and leaving the glottis opening
Air entering and leaving the glottis opening
Air entering and leaving the glottis opening
Air entering and leaving the glottis opening
Air entering and leaving the glottis opening
Air entering and leaving the glottis opening
Air enters and leaves freely.
  • To make voice sounds, the laryngeal muscles  image descriptionreduce  (= adduct) the size of the glottic opening to a narrow slit.
Reduced opening of glottis
Reduced opening of glottis
Reduced opening of glottis
Reduced opening of glottis
Reduced opening of glottis
Reduced opening of glottis
Reduced opening of glottis
Reduced opening of glottis
Laryngeal muscles reduce opening

An Overview of the Structure and Function of the Glottis :

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