The nasopharynx is the upper part of the pharynx (throat) behind the nose. The pharynx is a hollow tube about 5 inches long that starts behind the nose and ends at the top of the trachea (windpipe) and esophagus (the tube that goes from the throat to the stomach). Air and food pass through the pharynx on the way to the trachea or the esophagus. The nostrils lead into the nasopharynx. An opening on each side of the nasopharynx leads into an ear.
Source: NCI (NIH)1
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Nasopharynx: The top portion of the pharynx situated posterior to the nose and superior to the Soft Palate. The nasopharynx is the posterior extension of the nasal cavities and has a respiratory function.2
Read about these related anatomy topics:
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- Source: NCI (NIH): cancer.gov/ types/ head-and-neck/ patient/ nasopharyngeal-treatment-pdq
- Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
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