The Respiratory System Keep calm and breath

What is the Respiratory System? The Respiratory System is how we breath in air and get it to the rest of the body. Every living thing needs what's in the air: Oxygen. Without getting air into our body, our insides would not be able to function correctly, and our body's cells would die, since they need oxygen to produce energy.

Oxygen is everywhere in our atmosphere.

When we need to breath, our lungs expand, lowering the air pressure within, thus sucking air in to the lungs. When the lungs shrink back to their normal size, the air pressure in the lungs is increased, and the air rushes out until air pressure is normal.

Lungs are constantly expanding and shrinking

The path from mouth and nose to lungs might seem simple, but it is actually full of many more parts. One such part is called the epiglottis. The epiglottis is a flap that covers the entrance to the top of the tube that leads to the lungs, the trachea, when you swallow. The trachea is lined with tiny hairs called Cilia, and mucus. Cilia help remove dust and other things from the air, and mucus, found in the nasal passages and sinuses, warms and moistens the air, while also helping trap dust particles. Mucus also protects mucous membranes, which is a type of tissue that lines body cavities and creates more mucus. Once the air goes past the epiglottis and trachea, and cleaned by the cilia and mucus, it travels through two tubes called the bronchi.

The Trachea, Bronchi, and Bronchioles

The branching off portion of the bronchi is called the bronchioles. Bronchioles are little tubes at the end of the bronchi, branching off to form tiny air sacs called alveoli. Alveoli are very thin, so oxygen and carbon dioxide easily pass through them. Oxygen then goes into the capillaries, while carbon dioxide leaves the capillaries, going into the lungs, in order to leave the body (Carbon Dioxide is wast from the body's cells). When oxygen goes to the capillaries, it then entered the blood, and pumped throughout the body by the heart. The body needs oxygen. The heart, for example, without oxygen, will cramp, which is called a heart attack.

Smoking will injure your lungs.

How is it possible for the heart to not have enough oxygen? There are a variety of reasons, one of the biggest being smoking. Smoking will harm the Alveoli, which reduces the amount of air passing through. Other ways of not getting enough air is having too much cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol can plug blood veins, and slow the flow of blood.

It's important to keep track of how much cholesterol you eat. Eggs are a source of cholesterol.

Although there are ways to harm your respiratory system, there are ways to protect it too.

1. Run

Exercise increases heart rate, and may break loose some bits of cholesterol in the blood stream

2. No Smoking

Smoking can injure your lungs, so no smoking will help your lungs stay healthy longer.

3. Do not inhale harmful drugs or chemicals

Now that you have read this, take this quiz to see how much you now know (If it opens up in the quizlet app, please click the top right button which will bring you to the website).


Created with images by HarmonyCenter - "cumulus clouds dramatic" • Freeimages9 - "sky cloud blue" • Joe Crawford (artlung) - "lung illustration" • jetheriot - "cartilage" • macadam13 - "woman smoker model" • cuncon - "egg chicken food" • RyanMcGuire - "running sprint cinder-track" • Mark Morgan Trinidad B - "No Smoking I - Street" • stevepb - "thermometer headache pain"

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