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As people who use their voices a lot and for all kinds of reasons, whether it be singing, acting, debating, public speaking etc. most of us are totally unaware of how our vocal folds look, we just want to know if they work or not.

 

"But you just told us that we can't see our vocal folds so how is it possible?

 

There is a way you can see them but it isn't a common or regular thing to do. I'll explain in a second.

 

When you DO see them it makes a huge difference in your perception of them. HOW do we see them? Well there is a way. Maybe not your own but someone elses, unless you are fortunate enough to have the procedure done for you. Most of the time though, this only happens when there is a problem vocally and it needs to be tended to.

 

There are places called 'voice clinics' that can do a couple of procedures - one is called a 'Nasendoscopy' which is a thin flexible camera passed through the nasal cavity down the back of the throat 'til it lands just above the vocal folds.

 

Next is a procedure which is called a 'Rigidscope' which is a camera that passes through the mouth and is placed at the back of the soft palate and looks directly down to the vocal folds. This instrument also uses strobeoscopy - which is a strobe light that slows down (visually) the wave pattern of the folds and it is just amazing to see. Of course NONE of these involve surgery of any kind, it is a bit uncomfortable, but that is all.

 

Below is a video of a normal pair of vocal folds and is not used with strobeoscopy so you will not see a wavepattern, just vibration and the muscles etc working very hard to create sound from this one tiny area.

 

PS: if you are at all squeemish about seeing inside a body then DO NOT watch this video!

INTRODUCTION

This is done with a procedure called 'Nasendoscopy' and shows how amazing these tiny vocal folds are and how they work.

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