Communicating (speech and singing) and eating a meal involve this vital area. Also specific to otolaryngologists is expertise in managing diseases of the larynx (voice box) and the upper aero-digestive tract or esophagus, including voice and swallowing disorders.

In general, a sore throat is caused by an infection, either viral or bacterial. Thee infections are typically contagious and are easily transmitted between people via airborne pathogens due to coughing, mouth to mouth transmission, or mouth to hand to hand to mouth transmission, among others.