The respiratory system is responsible for supplying oxygen to the blood and removing carbon dioxide. Its function is vital to human survival for without oxygen to nourish the body even just for a few minutes, all the cells in the body cannot carry out their functions properly.
Overview of the Respiratory System
The respiratory system, together with the cardiovascular system looks over the gas exchange between the blood and the external environment. The parts of the respiratory system include the upper and lower respiratory tracts. Although gas exchange happens only in the alveoli which are located in the lungs, the upper respiratory tract humidifies the air that passes through it. This is done so that when it finally reaches the lungs, air would only contain little irritants such as dust or bacteria.
The Organs of the Respiratory System
- Primary Bronchi
These organs of the respiratory system contain small parts that help with the vital functions of the system and make gas exchange easier.
Anatomy of the Upper Respiratory System
From the nose to the trachea is the upper respiratory system. Most of the parts in this system functions as a passageway for the air. The nose contains respiratory mucosa or the mucosal lining that warms the air as it passes by. The sticky mucus produced by mucosa’s glands traps the bacteria and dust present in the air. The ciliated cells or the cilia moves contaminated mucus towards the pharynx and then directly to the digestive system to be digested by the stomach juices. The pharynx which is about 13 cm long is what people commonly call as the “throat.” It serves as a common passageway for both food and air. Its superior portion is called the nasopharynx, followed by the oropharynx, and then the laryngopahrynx. The larynx or what is commonly known as the “voice box” functions by channeling the proper route for air and food. It is located inferior to the pharynx where it is formed by eight rigid hyaline cartilages and the epiglottis. The trachea or windpipe is lined with a ciliated mucosa. The functions of these cilia propel mucus, loaded with dust particles and other foreign debris, away from the lungs to the throat, where it can be swallowed or spat out.
Anatomy of the Lower Respiratory System
The primary bronchi which are formed by the division of the trachea are divided into the left and right primary bronchi. The right primary bronchus is wider, shorter, and straighter than the left. The lungs, a large organ, are located in the thoracic cavity. The surface of the lungs is covered with pulmonary or visceral pleura. The very important part of the lungs is the alveoli or air sacs. The alveoli are the only site for gas exchange. There are millions of alveoli clustered together like grapes which primarily make up the bulk of the lungs.
Summary of the Anatomy of the Respiratory System
The respiratory system is a vital part of the human body. The function of this system determines the survival of the human body. The respiratory system is divided into two tracts, the upper and the lower tracts. Gas exchange only happens in the lower respiratory tract inside the alveoli.
These are just the basic parts of the respiratory system. The function is just simple yet very important to the human body.