Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Lump In Your Throat When You Are About To Cry?

I want mama!

Ever wonder why? Actually that lump isn't a lump at all. Instead it's a physical sensation of our throat struggling to perform 2 opposite actions at the same time. In the middle of our larynx is the glottis, the opening that allows air to pass through to the lungs and that closes when we swallow. Our vocals chords control the size of the glottis passage. Yep, now you know right?

Here's a close-up

Here's more: when stresses like fear and anger trigger our fight-or-flight instincts, our heart pumps harder (and faster), our lungs then work faster and our vocal chords stretch open in order to accommodate the deep breaths we take to feed air to the lungs. The same reaction happens when we feel emotional and are about to cry. Now that's why there's this lumping when we are getting teary eyes huh!

The sensation of a lump in our throat occurs when the glottis is at its largest, maximizing air intake, while we swallow our tears (swallow???). Swallowing-either just before crying or while weeping-forces the vocal chords to compress the glottis. Hence the vocal chords are fighting themselves to both compress and expand at the same time-and that's when we experience the tension as a lump! So now you'll know why there's lump when you are going to break down right? Watch out for it next time when you gonna weep ya. *wink* ;)

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