The pharynx is an anatomical region of the neck. It is located behind the mouth and nose and extends from the base of the skull to the esophagus.
The pharynx is divided into three anatomical regions: the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx. The pharynx is responsible for swallowing, breathing, and producing sound. It also serves as a passageway for air and food.
The pharynx is lined with mucous membranes that protect it from infection. The mucous membranes also produce mucus, which moistens and lubricates the pharynx. The pharynx is home to the tonsils, which are lymph nodes that help to filter out bacteria and other harmful particles.
The pharynx is also a site of infection for some diseases, such as strep throat, viral meningitis, and mononucleosis. Treatment for these conditions typically involves antibiotics or antiviral medications.
In some cases, the pharynx may be surgically removed, such as in the case of cancer. This procedure is known as a pharyngotomy.