What is Adam’s Apple?
The scientific name of the structure, commonly known as “Adam’s apple”, is “larynx mound” (prominentia laryngea). This bump is formed due to the protrusion of the thyroid cartilage surrounding the larynx in the human neck towards the outside of the body. As it is usually larger in males, it is clearly visible in adulthood. In fact, it is also found in females; however, it is more difficult to see from the outside as it is a little smaller due to its structure.
Why Is There an Adam’s Apple?
Coming to the final, that is, the evolutionary reason: The Adam’s apple is accepted as the “secondary sex character” seen in the sexes in the evolutionary process. In other words, in the later stages of development, it is one of the characters that distinguishes males and females from each other and causes physical differences in the population to become evident.
Its prominence increases due to the increase in hormonal activity during puberty of men. In this way, in the evolutionary process, the sexes gain differences in which they can distinguish each other. The examinations show that the rate of enlargement and prominence of the Adam’s apple can be very different from man to man, and that this prominence can become very evident in a very short time in places.
Evolutionary analyzes also reveal more about the function of structure: One of the most fundamental features that distinguishes humans from their close cousins is the ability to speak, the most complex version of animal communication known. The voice box is one of the main actors of this ability along with our brain. It is evolutionarily advantageous for the voice box to be protected by soft but sufficiently durable tissue, just as our hair or skull protect our brain. For this reason, individuals with a harder and stronger cartilage tissue around the voice box may have been safer and more advantageous than others in the evolutionary process.
As the analysis deepens, it is possible to obtain more detailed information about evolution: For example, it has been determined that the Adam’s apple also has an effect on the sounds produced in the voice box. Men with more prominent and bulging Adam’s apples have a deeper and fuller voice. It is thought that this tissue has an effect on the thickening of the voices of men in adolescence.
So what makes the Adam’s apple more visible in men?
In adult males, the larger larynx, which includes the vocal cords, makes the Adam’s apple more visible. This is exactly why men’s voices are deeper than women’s.
In teenage boys and girls, Adam’s apples are essentially the same size; but this situation changes when they enter puberty. As boys’ testosterone levels rise, their Adam’s apples visibly grow and their voices deepen.
So, does this Adam’s apple have a function? Not really. It just sits there, with no function like the cartilage in your ears and nose.
In fact, some men who are bothered by the fact that their Adam’s apples are too prominent, even resort to surgical intervention to shrink this cartilage, although they do not experience any health problems later on.
With its rocking up and down while swallowing, the Adam’s apple can also move spontaneously when you are tense; maybe the Adam’s apple’s only job is to humiliate men at work, in the presidential election, or while lying to their wives.
What causes the Adam’s apple to grow?
The larynx, or voice box, contains the vocal cords, which are made of membrane tissue and produce sound through vocalization. When puberty hits boys, the release of the hormone testosterone causes the vocal cords to thicken and lengthen as the cartilage surrounding the larynx grows.
When the cartilage grows, it protrudes and bends slightly forward, forming an Adam’s apple in men.
How is it that some people’s Adam’s apples are bigger than others?
During puberty, some people have a larger larynx or more cartilage develops around their vocal cords, resulting in a larger Adam’s apple. People with more laryngeal protrusions have a deeper voice than people with smaller Adam’s Apples.
It protects our larynx from injuries and has no special medical function. Without one, people can function normally.
Are there any medical conditions of having a larger Adam’s apple?
The presence of a Great Adam’s apple does not cause any medical conditions. It can only affect the cosmetic appearance. Although some diseases and conditions can cause swelling or enlargement in the larynx, which can make the Adam’s apple appear larger. These conditions and diseases include:
• Goiter, an enlarged thyroid gland
• Laryngitis or inflammation of the voice box
• Pharyngitis or inflammation of the pharynx
• Throat cancer
• Thyroid cancer
What is the cause of pain in Adam’s apple?
If you have Adam’s apple pain outside your throat or when swallowing, it may be because:
• Acute thyroiditis
• Epiglottis inflammation
• Candida esophagitis
• Flu, common cold
Why is the Adam’s Apple missing in women?
Adam’s apple is not found in women. But some women rarely have the ability to develop. However, it is not developed enough to be clearly visible.
It is said that the Adam’s apple got its name from the biblical incident in which Adam ate a bite of the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden and then got it stuck in his throat.
However, there is a more scientific reasoning behind the development of the Adam’s apple.