Respiratory system is one of the 11 organ systems of the body.
It is responsible for the life and energy in our body.
It is under involuntary control and physiological and anatomical systems in our body.
We breathe in air rich in oxygen by process called inspiration and breathe out air rich in CO2 by process called as expiration.
The respiratory system helps in safe exchange of gases from outer atmosphere to inside the body.
The of respiratory system of human body is not a problematic one mostly, but it is a delicate one and if neglected or hampered in early life, it can reduce life span and quality of life drastically.
The disorders of respiratory system are many but are not fatal on instant basis. They can be reduced or treated by proper medical care.
See the difference between anatomy vs physiology.
5. Two bronchi
6. Two lungs (inside them alveoli).
1. Nose: This is starting point of pulmonary system and exposed to external environment. It partly made of cartilaginous bone and and skull bone. It is the entrance and also the exit for air into the body.
It has odor glands in the nostril walls. Also, there are small tuft of hair inside to entrap any dust particles passing along with air.
2. Pharynx: This is present immediately after nose. It is common channel for both digestive system and respiratory system. It is divided into three parts as nasopharynx, oropharynx and also laryngopharynx.
3. Larynx: This is the tract of respiratory system in the throat. It is responsible for sound and is made of cartilage.
4.Trachea:This is a longer part of the tract and is made of circles of cartilaginous bones with a capacity to contract and relax. This trachea divides into two bronchi before entry into lungs.
5. Bronchi: These are two as right and left and each enters into respective lung. Bronchi further divides into smaller branches as bronchioles which almost extend into alveoli of lungs.
6. Lungs: These are important organs of the respiratory system. Here, the actual process of respiration occurs. There are large sac like structures (balloon like). There are two in number with one on the left side and other on rights of thorax or chest. They are very thin layered and a bit transparent. Their walls have many passing tiny blood vessels. They are very delicate to sharp objects and get punctured easily on injury. Inside these lungs, there are small sacs called alveoli which are involved in exchange of gases between blood and air.
Cilia: These tiny bristle like structure on the surface of respiratory tract helping in movement of dust and phlegm from inside to out of the tract. They move in one specific direction only. In older people and people with inflammation the cilia activity is low and hence phlegm accumulates a lot in their respiratory tract.
Phlegm: Phlegm is a mucous secretion in the respiratory tract aimed to keep the tract moist and remove any dust particles entered into tract by flowing towards nose. This movement of phlegm is helped by cilia on the surface if tract. But profuse secretion and accumulation of phlegm can be havoc to patients.
Functions of Respiratory organs:
Nose: Being the first passage of the respiratory system, nose performs vital functions.
It warms up the air, filters and even moistens it.
Warming: When air enters the nose, the mucous wall in the nose gets in contact. Due to high blood supply to this layer, the air gets warmed.
Cleaning and filtering: The air might have bacteria and dust particles. These are trapped in the nose. Hair in the nose traps large particles. While the moist mucosa traps bacteria and small dust particles.
Moistening: When air travels over the mucosus layer, the moisture present saturates the air with water vapor.
Besides the above, nose acts as a sense of smell.
Pharynx: This is a tube of approximately 14 centimeters long. It starts from the base of the skill and ends at the level of 6th cervical vertebra (neck region) It is divided into three parts are nasopharynx, oropharynx and laryngopharynx.
1. It helps in passage of air and food.
2. Warms and humidifies air.
3. Protection against microbes by producing antigens from tonsils.
4.In speech, it helps to resonate sound coming out from larynx.
Physiology of respiratory system
- Gaseous exchange: Help in take of oxygen (O2) into blood from atmosphere and leave out CO2
- Metabolism: Some drugs and substances get metabolized in lungs due to heavy O2 content.
- Excretory in function: Lungs help in excretion of gaseous or volatile substances like Ammonia (NH3), Alcohol etc. Hence, when one drinks alcohol, its odor is detected in the breathe. So, breath analyzers are used to test drivers.