The Respiratory System Explained

The existence of the human body is made possible due to a lot of significant organ systems and processes. Each one has its due importance and is indispensable; one such major organ system is the respiratory system.

The two organs needed the most in the human body to keep it alive technically are the heart and the lungs. This is because together these two make it possible to regulate good and bad blood through the body. Although these two work in conjuction, they have been divided into two different organ systems of the body – the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system – to better comprehend the workings of both these systems.

The cardiovascular system, which involves the heart and the blood vessels, supplies the oxygenated blood to every part of the body while taking the deoxygenated blood away from them. However, the cardiovascular system could not have functioned properly without the other most important system.

The respiratory system is made up of the mouth, nose and throat – all the air passage ways – also including the pharynx, larynx and the trachea and then the lungs. The whole design and purpose of this system is the exchange of beneficial and harmful gases within the body so the harmful ones, like carbon dioxide, can be expired out of the body's system and the oxygen is used to oxygenate the blood.
To understand this system further, it has been divided into two main parts, the upper respiratory tract and the lower respiratory tract.

The upper respiratory tract is made up of the mouth, nose, pharynx and larynx. To put it briefly the mouth and the nose are busy inhaling the air, making it warm and filtering it of most dirt particles. The pharynx is the place where this passage is divided into the windpipe, known as the trachea, and the food pipe. A flap of cartilage is placed over the trachea which acts as a lid to prevent food particles from entering there. The larynx or the voice box is also placed here to protect any of the solids or liquids from entering the windpipe.

From there the air moves on to the lower respiratory tract. The trachea is another marvel of the whole respiratory system. It is a 10-16 cm long windpipe, which has tiny hairs on the inside to prevent dust particles from polluting the lungs. It also has C-shaped cartilage rings on the complete front side to keep it open. The cartilage does not go all the way round to allow for expansion from behind and because the esophagus is positioned right behind it.

The air finally enters the lungs through the branched trachea pipes called the Bronchi which further divide into bronchioles; These are very narrow and finally lead to the alveoli sacs. Almost 3 million of these can be found in a single lung. It is actually across the thin walls of these sacs that the exchange of gases occurs. Lastly, we have the diaphragm which is a thick muscular band that is placed under both lungs so as to moves upwards and downwards with the rhythm.