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Using Larynx Models to Discuss Diseases of the Throat

The larynx is responsible for providing humans, as well as other mammals, with the ability to make sounds. It is also an important part of the airway passage allowing air to pass into and out of the lungs. Health conditions of the larynx can be very problematic and painful and can have serious impact on speech and breathing. Larynx models can be used to help patients to see into their own throats to understand how the larynx functions and what possible injuries, conditions or diseases may be present.

Common conditions of the larynx may not all require surgical procedures or long term medical treatment. Often the larynx can be damaged simply by overuse or strain. This is the type of vocal problems experienced after a high energy football game or hours spend in choir practice. Screaming, repetitive high or low pitched vocalizations or any other number of stressors can result in short term injury to the larynx. A doctor or therapist can help patients understand the damage that this type of voluntary vocalizations can do through the use of larynx models.

Using the model to point out and explain to the patient how the injury occurred can be instrumental in preventing further damage to the vocal cords. It can also be a good way to show patients what constant strain over long periods of time can do to the functioning of the larynx. While larynx models or throat models won't typically have all the detail the model can serve for a basis of the discussion. The physical can point out the areas that can be damaged as they are providing the information to the patient.

With larynx models the thyroid will also be featured. This is because the thyroid conditions are often very significant and, although not functionally related, the two body parts are in very close proximity to each other. In addition the model will also show the trachea, cricoid cartilage, thyroid cartilage and membrane and the hyoid bone. Larynx models are usually distinctive in coloration to easily differentiate the various structures. As with any good anatomy model or human disease model, a suitable model of the larynx will provide a great deal of detail.

Larynx models can be helpful in explaining to patients the difference between nodules and polyps, both which can cause voice problems. The doctor can also stress to patients that speech therapy that teaches the vocal cords to close correctly is often all that is needed to correct this problem. Other health concerns that can be address with a larynx model include cancers, spasmodic dysphonia, muscle tension disorders and laryngopharyngeal reflux disease or LPRD.

Most conditions of the larynx can be effectively treated with medications and speech therapy but in the case of some malformations, cancers and incomplete formation of the larynx surgical procedures may be required. The doctor can review the specific surgical methods used on the model and also provide opportunity for the patient to visualize the treatment using larynx models. This is a much less stressful and anxiety provoking activity than watching an actual surgical procedure on video for the vast majority of patients.


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