Respiratory System

In Glogpedia

by leazski
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Human Anatomy
Grade:
11

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Respiratory System

Nose and Nasal CavityThe nose and nasal cavity form the main external opening for the respiratory system and are the first section of the body’s airway. The function of the nasal cavity is to warm, moisturize, and filter air entering the body before it reaches the lungs. Hairs and mucus lining the nasal cavity help to trap dust, mold, pollen and other environmental contaminants before they can reach the inner portions of the body. Air exiting the body through the nose returns moisture and heat to the nasal cavity before being exhaled into the environment.

Respiratory System

There are 3 major parts of the respiratory system: the airway, the lungs, and the muscles of respiration. The airway, which includes the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles, carries air between the lungs and the body’s exterior. The lungs act as the functional units of the respiratory system by passing oxygen into the body and carbon dioxide out of the body. Finally, the muscles of respiration, including the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, work together to act as a pump, pushing air into and out of the lungs during breathing.

Mouth (Oral Cavity)The mouth, also known as the oral cavity, is the secondary external opening for the respiratory tract. Most normal breathing takes place through the nasal cavity, but the oral cavity can be used to supplement or replace the nasal cavity’s functions when needed.

PharynxThe pharynx, also known as the throat, is a muscular funnel that extends from the posterior end of the nasal cavity to the superior end of the esophagus and larynx. The pharynx is divided into 3 regions: the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx. The nasopharynx is the superior region of the pharynx found in the posterior of the nasal cavity. Inhaled air from the nasal cavity passes into the nasopharynx and descends through the oropharynx, located in the posterior of the oral cavity. Air inhaled through the oral cavity enters the pharynx at the oropharynx. The inhaled air then descends into the laryngopharynx, where it is diverted into the opening of the larynx by the epiglottis. The epiglottis is a flap of elastic cartilage that acts as a switch between the trachea and the esophagus. Because the pharynx is also used to swallow food, the epiglottis ensures that air passes into the trachea by covering the opening to the esophagus. During the process of swallowing, the epiglottis moves to cover the trachea to ensure that food enters the esophagus and to prevent choking.

Your breathing rate is primarily regulated by neural and chemical mechanisms. Respiration is controlled by spontaneous neural discharge from the brain to nerves that innervate respiratory muscles. The primary respiratory muscle is the diaphragm, which is innervated by the phrenic nerve. The rate at which the nerves discharge is influenced by the concentration of oxygen, carbon dioxide and the acidity of the blood.The normal respiratory rate in adults is between 14 and 18 breaths per minute.on average. Newborns breathe much faster at about 44 breaths per minute on average. Over time, the respiratory rate gradually decreases to the adult rate.There are chemoreceptors in the brain and the heart that sense the amount of oxygen, carbon dioxide and acid present in the body. As a result, they modulate the respiratory rate to compensate for any disruptions in balance of any of these chemicals. Too much carbon dioxide or acidity and too little oxygen cause the respiratory rate to increase and vice versa. Carbon dioxide chemoreceptors are much more sensitive than oxygen chemoreceptors and, thus, exert an effect with smaller changes.

Muscles of RespirationSurrounding the lungs are sets of muscles that are able to cause air to be inhaled or exhaled from the lungs. The principal muscle of respiration in the human body is the diaphragm, a thin sheet of skeletal muscle that forms the floor of the thorax. When the diaphragm contracts, it moves inferiorly a few inches into the abdominal cavity, expanding the space within the thoracic cavity and pulling air into the lungs. Relaxation of the diaphragm allows air to flow back out the lungs during exhalation. Between the ribs are many small intercostal muscles that assist the diaphragm with expanding and compressing the lungs. These muscles are divided into 2 groups: the internal intercostal muscles and the external intercostal muscles. The internal intercostal muscles are the deeper set of muscles and depress the ribs to compress the thoracic cavity and force air to be exhaled from the lungs. The external intercostals are found superficial to the internal intercostals and function to elevate the ribs, expanding the volume of the thoracic cavity and causing air to be inhaled into the lungs.

TracheaThe trachea, or windpipe, is a 5-inch long tube made of C-shaped hyaline cartilage rings lined with pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium. The trachea connects the larynx to the bronchi and allows air to pass through the neck and into the thorax. The rings of cartilage making up the trachea allow it to remain open to air at all times. The main function of the trachea is to provide a clear airway for air to enter and exit the lungs. In addition, the epithelium lining the trachea produces mucus that traps dust and other contaminants and prevents it from reaching the lungs. Cilia on the surface of the epithelial cells move the mucus superiorly toward the pharynx where it can be swallowed and digested in the gastrointestinal tract.

The diaphragm in the respiratory system is the dome-shaped sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. It is also referred to the thoracic diaphragm because it’s located in the thoracic cavity, or chest. When we breathe, the diaphragm is drawn downward until it is flat. At the same time, the muscles around the ribs pull them up like a hoop skirt. The chest, or thoracic, cavity becomes deeper and larger, making more air space.There are openings in the diaphragm for the esophagus, the phrenic nerve (which controls the movements of the diaphragm to produce breathing), and the aorta and vena cava blood vessels, which lead to and from the heart. When air is drawn into the lungs, the muscles in the diaphragm contract, and pull the central tendon down. This enlarges the chest, and air then passes into the lungs to fill the larger space. The diaphragm sometimes contracts involuntarily because when the controlling nerves eat too fast they get irritated (or for some other reason). If air is inhaled at this time, the space between the vocal cords at the back of the throat close suddenly and produce the clicking noise we call hiccups.

Bronchi and BronchiolesAt the inferior end of the trachea, the airway splits into left and right branches known as the primary bronchi. The left and right bronchi run into each lung before branching off into smaller secondary bronchi. The secondary bronchi carry air into the lobes of the lungs—2 in the left lung and 3 in the right lung. The secondary bronchi in turn split into many smaller tertiary bronchi within each lobe. The tertiary bronchi split into many smaller bronchioles that spread throughout the lungs. Each bronchiole further splits into many smaller branches less than a millimeter in diameter called terminal bronchioles. Finally, the millions of tiny terminal bronchioles conduct air to the alveoli of the lungs. The main function of the bronchi and bronchioles is to carry air from the trachea into the lungs. Smooth muscle tissue in their walls helps to regulate airflow into the lungs. When greater volumes of air are required by the body, such as during exercise, the smooth muscle relaxes to dilate the bronchi and bronchioles. The dilated airway provides less resistance to airflow and allows more air to pass into and out of the lungs. The smooth muscle fibers are able to contract during rest to prevent hyperventilation.

LungsThe lungs are a pair of large, spongy organs found in the thorax lateral to the heart and superior to the diaphragm. Each lung is surrounded by a pleural membrane that provides the lung with space to expand as well as a negative pressure space relative to the body’s exterior. The negative pressure allows the lungs to passively fill with air as they relax. The left and right lungs are slightly different in size and shape due to the heart pointing to the left side of the body. The interior of the lungs is made up of spongy tissues containing many capillaries and around 30 million tiny sacs known as alveoli. The alveoli are lined with thin simple squamous epithelium that allows air entering the alveoli to exchange its gases with the blood passing through the capillaries.

Diffusion is an effortless process that occurs naturally within the lungs. After the transfer of gasses, oxygen which has traveled through the thin walls of both the alveoli and capillaries is picked up by hemoglobin and carried to cells to be utilized for glycolysis, the process of turning glucose into usable energy. Cellular waste is picked up and carbon dioxide is expelled back into the alveoli where it gets exhaled.


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