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it is an organ system specialized primarily to provide oxygen to the
blood and remove carbon dioxide from it. It serves for speech and other vocalizations, provides the sense of smell, controls the pH of the body by eliminating carbon dioxide and it helps regulate blood pressure. The principal organs of the respiratory system include the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs. The respiratory system can be divided into two divisions, the conducting division which is the passage that serves only for air flow (nostrils to bronchioles) and the respiratory division which consists of the alveoli and other distal gas exchange regions. The respiratory system can also be divided into two tracts, the upper respiratory tract which serves as the airway from the nose through the larynx (respiratory organs in the head and neck) and the lower respiratory tract which are the regions from the trachea through the lungs
Upper Respiratory Tract
Nose and Nasal Cavity
The nose warms and cleanses inhaled airs. It detects odors in the airstream and it has resonating chambers that amplifies the voice. As
you inhale, small specks of dirt are trapped by many tiny hairs in your nose. This cleans the air. The hairs stop the dirt from going further in your body. The moist inside surface in your nose traps even smaller pieces of dirt. The nose extends from the nostrils (anterior nares) to the chronae (posterior nares).
Inside the nose is the nasal cavity which the air passage behind the nose plays an important role in breathing. The nasal cavity is divided into a right and left passageway (nasal fossae) . The tissue (nasal septum) that covers the wall of your nasal cavity contains many blood vessels. Heat from the blood in the vessels helps warm the air as you breath. Moisture is added to the air you breath by special cells in the walls of the nasal cavity. The air is warmed and moistened before it reaches your lungs.
Pharynx The pharynx is a muscular funnel extending from the choanae (posterior nasal
aperture) to the larynx. It has three regions
namely the nasopharynx, oropharynx and laryngopharynx. The nasopharynx receives the
auditory tubes and houses the pharyngeal tonsil and passes only air. The oropharynx contains the palatine and lingual tonsils and passes air, food, and drink. The laryngopharynx ends at the opening of the esophagus and passes air, food, and drink.
Because both food and air pass through the pharynx, a flap of connective tissue called the epiglottis closes over the trachea when food is swallowed to prevent choking or aspiration. In humans the pharynx is important in vocalization.
Larynx The Larynx (plural larynges), colloquially known as the "voice box", is an organ in the neck of mammals involved in protection of the trachea and sound production. It manipulates pitch and volume. The larynx houses the vocal folds, which are an essential component of phonation. The vocal folds are situated just below where the tract of the pharynx splits into the trachea and the esophagus. The superior opening of the larynx, the glottis (back of the tongue) is guarded by a flap of tissue called the epiglottis. At rest, the epiglottis usually
stands almost vertically. During swallowing, extrinsic muscles of the larynx pull the larynx upward toward the epiglottis, the tongue then pushes the epiglottis downward to meet it, and the epiglottis directs food and drink into the esophagus dorsal to the airway.
Lower Respiratory Tract
Trachea, Bronchi, and Alveoli
Trachea is a common term for an airway through which respiratory air passes in organisms. In vertebrates, it is held open by up to 20 Cshaped rings of cartilage, and may also be known as the "windpipe." The trachea divides into two main bronchi , the left and the right, at the level of the sternal angle at the anatomical point known as the carina. The right main bronchus is wider, shorter, and more vertical than the left main bronchus. The bronchi branch into smaller and smaller passageways until they terminate in tiny air sacs called alveoli. The alveolar ducts and alveoli consist primarily of simple squamous epithelium, which permits rapid diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Exchange of gases between the air in the lungs and the blood in the capillaries occurs across the walls of the alveolar ducts and alveoli.
Lungs The lung or pulmonary system is the essential respiration organ in all air-breathing
animals. Their principal function is to transport oxygen from the atmosphere into the bloodstream, and to release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere. Human lungs are located in two cavities on either side of the heart. Though similar in appearance, the two are not identical. Both are separated into lobes by fissures, with three lobes on the right and two on the left. The lobes are further divided into segments and then into lobules, hexagonal divisions of the lungs that are the smallest subdivision visible to the naked eye. The connective tissue that divides lobules is often blackened in smokers. The medial border of the right lung is nearly vertical, while the left lung contains a cardiac notch. The cardiac notch is a concave impression molded to accommodate the shape of the heart. Lungs are to a certain extent 'overbuilt' and have a tremendous reserve volume as compared to the oxygen exchange requirements when at rest. Such excess capacity is one of the reasons that individuals can smoke for years without having a noticeable decrease in lung function while still or moving slowly; in situations like these only a small portion of the lungs are actually perfused with blood for gas exchange. As oxygen requirements increase due to exercise, a greater volume of the lungs is perfused, allowing the body to match its CO2/O2 exchange requirements. Additionally, due to the excess capacity, it is possible for humans to live with only one lung, with the other compensating for its loss.
Lobes of the lungs
• o o o • o o
right lung: superior lobe middle lobe inferior lobe left lung: superior lobe inferior lobe
The lobes are characterized by a discrete connection with the first subdivision of the bronchial tree after the level of the principal bronchi to both lungs - these are the lobar bronchi. In a similar manner, the vascular, nerve and lymphatic supply from the hila to each lobe has minimal connection with other lobes. This makes the lobes relatively independent funtional units within the lung. Indeed, pathology may be confined to one lobe and corrective surgery may be facilitated by the clear demarcation between lobes produced by the fissures. • Diaphragm The diaphragm's job is to help pump the carbon dioxide out of the lungs and pull the oxygen into the lungs. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscles that lies across the bottom of the chest cavity. As the diaphragm contracts and relaxes, breathing takes place. When the diaphragm contracts, oxygen is pulled into the lungs. When the diaphragm relaxes, carbon dioxide is pumped out of the lungs. Summary: Air travels in and out of the lungs through the procedure of
breathing. The chest cavity enlarges as the diaphragm contracts; air is exhaled, or inhaled, into the lungs. When the diaphragm slows down, the chest cavity shrinks in volume, causing air to be breathed out, or released from the body.
Through the process of breathing, air moves throughout the constitution of the respiratory system in the following sequence:
• • •
Air is inhaled through the mouth and nasal route. Air goes through the pharynx. Air proceeds into the larynx (voice box) where it goes through the glottis, a cavity in the vocal cords. Air passes through the windpipe (trachea). This formation is backed by rings of cartilage, which avert collapse. The trachea splits into 2 petite tubes called bronchi, each of which directs to one of the two lungs.
The bronchi stem into ever more smaller tubes called bronchioles within the lungs.
The bronchioles transport the air into the alveoli.
• • •
http://www.articleswave.com/health-articles/human-respiratory-system.html http://hes.ucfsd.org/gclaypo/repiratorysys.html http://www.fi.edu/learn/heart/systems/respiration.html Saladin, K. (2008). Human Anatomy. Boston: McGraw-Hill
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