The Respiratory System is responsible for the mechanical process called breathing, with the average adult breathing

about 12 to 20 times per minute. This includes the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi and lungs. The respiratory system have two very important functions: it brings oxygen into our bodies, which we need for our cells to live and function properly and it helps us get rid of carbon dioxide, which is a waste product of cellular function. When engaged in strenuous activities, the rate and depth of breathing increases in order to handle the increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the blood.

The right lung has three lobes but the left lung has only two. We each have two lungs. and get rid of the waste product carbon dioxide. because the heart takes up some of the space in the left side of our chest. this raises the chest cavity or the ribs. Covering each alveolus is a whole network of little blood vessel called capillaries. and some of this oxygen will travel across the walls of the alveoli into your bloodstream. These are divided into lobesseparated by fissures. the bronchi subdivides becoming smaller as they branch through the lung tissue. Common respiratory symptoms include breathlessness. cough. This is accompanied by the lowering of the diaphragm. The air from outside rushes into the lungs.The alveoli are where the important work of gas exchange takes place between the air and our blood. which are very small branches of the pulmonary arteries. During expiration. larynx. pharynx. When something goes wrong with part of the respiratory system. The lungs are large organs in which the exchange of gasses takes place. the outer intercostal muscles contract. At the lungs. air comes down the trachea and through the bronchi into the alveoli. In this way. This reduces the space in the chest cavity and increases the pressure. so that oxygen and carbon dioxide can move between them. it makes it harder for us to get the oxygen we need and to get rid of the waste product carbon dioxide.When we breathe in. From there. a left lung and a right lung. and chest pain MECHANICS OF BREATHING During inspiration. It is important that the air in the alveoli and the blood in the capillaries are very close together. This expels the air out of the lungs. These said structures serves as channels of air into our body. until they reach the tiny air sacks of the lungs called the alveoli. So. the inner intercostal muscles contract bringing the ribs back to the original position and the diaphragm is also raised back by the action of the abdominal muscles. The nose. . we bring in to our body the oxygen that we need to live. such as an infection like pneumonia. Together these movements serve to increase the area of the thoracic cavity. air enters our body through the nose or mouth. trachea and bronchi all work like a system of pipes through which the air is conducted down into our lungs. which crosses from the blood in the capillaries into the air in the alveoli and is then breathed out. through the larynx and into the trachea before entering the lungs. Traveling in the opposite direction is carbon dioxide. when we breathe in. it travels down the throat. which reduces the pressure. chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. This fresh air has lots of oxygen in it.

allowing rapid exchange of gases by passive diffusion along concentration gradients. CO2 moves into the alveolus as the absorption is much lower in the alveolus than in the blood.INSPIRATION EXPIRATION PHYSIOLOGY OF GAS EXCHANGE Each branch of the bronchial tree eventually sub-divides to form very narrow terminal bronchioles. The capillary and alveolar walls are very thin. Each alveolus is very closely associated with a network of capillaries containing deoxygenated blood from the pulmonary artery. There are many millions of alveoli in each lung. . and these are the areas responsible for gaseous exchange. and O2 moves outof the alveolus as the continuous flow of blood through the capillaries prevents saturation of the blood with O2 and allows maximal transfer across the membrane. which terminate in the alveoli.

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