Respiratory System

by kristinkage
Last updated 5 years ago

Human Anatomy

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Respiratory System

Take a tour through the Respiratory System!

On this tour, we will learn how the respiratory system works. It's main function is to supply blood with oxygen, which is carried throughout the body. This is done through breathing. We will start off in an oxygen molecule that enters the body through the mouth. We will pass through the layrnx, which is where your voice is produced. After that, we will travel through the trachea and enter the chest cavity. Inside the chest, the trachea splits into two tubes called the bronchi. Our oxygen molecule will travel down one of these and into the lungs. Inside the lungs, the bronchi divide into many smaller tubes. We will ride through just one of these smaller tubes that connects to the alveoli. The alveoli are spongy, tiny air sacs surrounded by capillaries. We will exit the oxygen molecule here, but you will be able to see how other oxygen molecules diffuse through the capillaries into the body's blood. While at the alveoli station, we will enter a carbon dioxide molecule. This comes from waste-rich blood that deposits carbon dioxide into the alveoli. In the molecule, we will take the same path out as the oxygen molecule but backwards. We will start at the alveoli and exit out of the mouth as the body exhales. This ends the tour, but there is more to look at outside that explains how this all works.

There are a lot of important organs in the respiratory system. The trachea, which we will travel through, filters the air that we breathe. The air passes through to the bronchi. The main function of the bronchi and bronchioles is simply to carry the air from the trachea to the lungs. They have a smooth tissue in their walls to help regulate the flow of air into or out of the lungs. The lungs' main function is to help transfer the oxygen we breathe into red blood cells or to help the body dispose of carbon dioxide as we breathe out. The red blood cells can then take the oxygen throughout the body and to important organs or tissues. The diaphragm helps the lungs by moving up to push out carbon dioxide and contracting to pull in oxygen. There are also muscles in your ribs that help your lungs. The muscles, called intercoastal muscles, create space in your chest cavity, so your lungs can expand.

One place we won't be going on this tour is the respiratory control center. This is what regulates your breathing. It's at the base of the brain and sends signals down your spine to the muscles involved in breathing. Because of this, your breathing happens automatically and you're not even aware of it. However, you can change your breathing, like holding your breath when you go swimming or breathing faster when you're running. There are mutiple sensors to change your breathing when necessary. Some sensors in your airways can detect if something is irritating your lungs which makes you sneeze or cough. For people with asthma, the sensors can make muscles around airways contract, which makes breathing more difficult.


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