How Does Respiratory System Work

by | Mar 17, 2020 | Health | 0 comments

Respiratory system

Respiratory System

Human Respiratory System Is A Set Of Organs That Provides Oxygen Supply And Carbon Dioxide Output

The Main Respiratory System organ in the human body is lungs – by breathing they provide exchange of air gases.

The American Association for Respiratory Care informs that red blood cells collect oxygen from lungs and deliver it to body parts, where it is necessary.

Oxygen is vital for life processes. We call decline in oxygen level – Hypoxya, however complete deficiency is called – Anoxia.

Both of them are very dangerous to health and can cause death.

After just 4 minutes without oxygen, brain cells begin to die – it can cause brain damage or even take life.

Average breathing speed of an individual depends on the age:

  • Newborns – ~40 inhalations in minute, however in sleep it can drop to 20 inhalations
  • Adult average inhalation time is 12-16. Physical activities can change this rate, with very high intensity workout it can elevate to 45 times in minute.
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Did You Know That Total Lung Surface Area Is Same Size As Half Of Tennis Court?

Both lungs are not identical – right one is slightly wider and shorter than left one.

Right lung size is related to the fact that, underneath it is located liver, which also needs the space, however left one is narrower because it has to give space to heart. 

Although We might think that breathing is a simple process, the truth is – it actually is very complex.

Right lung is divided into three lobes, however left one has only two. Lobes make up sponge like mass, which is surrounded by membrane – Pleura, which divides lungs from chest walls.

Each lung has its own Pleura bag, therefore, even if one is penetrated, other one can still operate.

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Keeping Lungs Healthy

One of the best ways is to evade cigarette smoke. At least 70 of 7000 cigarette existing chemicals degrades cells that are inside lungs. Smokers have highest risk of developing lung cancer, furthermore, it is proportional to how often individual is smoking. 

Smokers have 15-30 times higher risk of developing lung cancer. However if you quit smoking, much can be recovered. Things that are suggested are such as:

Lungs are like bellows

Expanding they suck in air, but when flattening it ejects carbon dioxide – unnecessary gas for the body. However lungs don’t have muscles itself, that would help to expand and flatten – this job is done by thorax and diaphragm.

Diaphragm – dome type muscle attached to lung surface. It controls breathing and divides thorax from abdominal cavity.

When humans are inhaling, diaphragm straightens and bends down, giving more space for lungs. Exhaling diaphragm relaxes, moves upper and pushes air out.

When We are breathing, air flows down to the throat and ends up in trachea, which can be referred as respiratory tract.

Inhalers helps to relax muscles that are nearby the lungs – it makes breathing easier

Trachea divides into smaller channels, which are called bronchi. Their inside are covered by little hairs, which are called – eyelash epithelial cells. It moves back and forth, carrying sputum.

Sputum is sticky liquid, that collects dust, bacilli and other particles that got inside the lungs. Sputum We eject when We are:

  • Sneeze
  • Cough
  • Spit
  • Swallow Saliva

Bronchi are connected with lungs and get divided even further, expanding through both parts of lungs. They call smaller branches bronchial, and each bronchial have its very own alveolar bag.

Alveolars are very thin (~0,2 micrometers) and comprises one epithelial cell layer and small blood vessels, which are called lung capillaries. Oxygen path goes through alveolars, capillaries then further into blood. It comes in heart and further goes to all body parts, tissues and organs, where it is necessary.

When oxygen gets into the blood, carbon dioxide flows into alveolars and gets out of the body. All this process together is called – Gas Exchange. If an individual is having shallow breath, carbon dioxide accumulates in body and cause – Yawning.

Interesting Facts About Respiratory System

When We Are Breathing We Lose Lot Of Liquid

Breathing allows cells to take up necessary oxygen and export carbon dioxide from the body.

However, exhaling along with the carbon dioxide, we exhale the water.

At relaxed state We exhale up to 17,5 ml water. Furthermore, when we do physical activities, this number increases fourfold. 

Lungs Are Only Organ That Can Swim In Water

Each lung has about 300 million tiny balloon-like structure, which are called alveolaris and it makes a big surface for gas contact.

When these structures are filled with air, lungs becomes only organ that can swim.

There Are Humans That Can Hold Breath For 20 Minutes

Average adult can hold breath for about 30-60 seconds.

We relate this restriction to blood acidifying carbon dioxide accumulation, and not with oxygen deficiency –

it has reserves in muscle proteins, which are called Myoglobin.

Coughing Secreted Drops Are Not As Fast As You Think

Previously it was considered that saliva drops from coughing can reach a velocity of 180 km/h. 

However, the truth is – it’s only 63 km/h.

Common Cold Can Cause More Than 100 Different Viruses

Common cold is most often occurring respiratory system disease, the most common of all diseases. 

It’s the reason people hinder school and work. 

We believe it that common cold and rhinovirus is the same thing.

Rhinovirus is the most often cause of common cold. However, common cold can be caused by over 200 different viruses, even corona virus and respiratory syncytial virus.

Lungs And Trachea In Ancient Egypt Were Important Symbols

Both human and other mammal animal lungs and trachea has to work coordinated to supply tissue and cells with oxygen.

Ancient Egyptians understood this and created hieroglyph that pictures trachea connected with lungs, symbolizing Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt unity, that was necessary for country to stay strong.

Since Pharaoh managed both countries, this certain hieroglyph were on their owned things – clothes, furniture, jewelery.

Small Circulatory System For First Time Was Described In 13. Century

Small circulatory system or lung circulatory system is blood movement from heart to lungs and back to heart.

It provides heart with oxygen, what blood gets from lungs.

In 1243. Arab doctor Ibn al Nafis was first one to describe this complex system in his work “Commentaries on the Anatomy of the Avicienn Canon”.

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