Human Respiratory System

The respiratory system in humans is the driving force behind life. It enables us to breathe and inhale air to supply oxygen to vital organs of our body. Behind the working of our respiratory system is an amazing mechanism that nature has built for us. Read on to know in detail about our respiratory system and the organs that drive it.
| Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Lungs are the respiratory configuration found in many earthly animals. Although lungs dole out the same fundamental function as other respiratory systems, they are different in their structure and functionalities.

Human bodies enclose 2 lungs, both positioned in the chest cavity, one on each side of the body. They are enclosed by a ribcage and are located above a huge muscle, the diaphragm. All through the human lung are several tiny grape-formed sacs called alveoli, which provide the lung its squishy consistency. Alveoli give a huge surface area over which gases can disseminate and are linked to a chain of channels through which air passes during breathing.

Process of Breathing

Air travels in and out of the lungs through the procedure of breathing. The chest cavity enlarges as the diaphragm contracts; air is exhaled, or inhaled, into the lungs. When the diaphragm slows down, the chest cavity shrinks in volume, causing air to be breathed out, or released from the body.

Through the process of breathing, air moves throughout the constitution of the respiratory system in the following sequence:

  • Air is inhaled through the mouth and nasal route.
  • Air goes through the pharynx.
  • Air proceeds into the larynx (voice box) where it goes through the glottis, a cavity in the vocal cords.
  • Air passes through the windpipe (trachea). This formation is backed by rings of cartilage, which avert collapse.
  • The trachea splits into 2 petite tubes called bronchi, each of which directs to one of the two lungs.
  • The bronchi stem into ever more smaller tubes called bronchioles within the lungs.
  • The bronchioles transport the air into the alveoli.

We breathe in and out approximately 20 to 25 times every minute, but we hardly ever think about how this mechanical process functions. Breathing is the mode by which carbon dioxide is purge and oxygen is taken into the body. We may only become knowingly responsive of it while exercising as it leads to an involuntary augment in our breathing rate, or when we cling to our breath and find we are enforced to take in air after only a short while.

The Structure of the Respiratory System

The Nose

Air penetrates and departs the respiratory system through the nose. It humidifies and dampens the air before it reaches the lungs, and assists in eliminating redundant particles, like dust and soot.

The Pharynx

The pharynx broadens from the rear of the nasal cavity down to the 2nd cartilage of the trachea, and finishes at the back of the tongue. Approximately 13cm long, it is expmlianed as a funnel-shaped tube, and is split into 3 sections.

The Larynx and the Trachea

The larynx is efficiently the notch to the trachea, and above it is situated the epiglottis, which gives shield by averting food from entering the trachea during gulping down. It is composed of supple cartilage; the cricoid cartilage at the apex is followed by an additional 16 cartilages: the C-formed rings that hold the tube open. The part of the C located at the back includes elastic connective tissue. The front is enclosed by the hyalin cartilage of the ring. The motive for the elastic connective tissue is to let the tube broaden when big food particles enter the oesophagus.

The Bronchi and the Bronchioles

At the stage of the 5th thoracic vertebra, the trachea splits in a Y-figure into the right and left prime bronchi. The position at which it splits is a significant site, being concerned with the cough impulse.


We all perhaps don't ponder very much on our respiratory system, but it is indispensable for life. Every now and then a cough, sneeze, or hiccup will ring a bell in your mind about this complex system. A cough is the method by which your system clears the air passage. Did you know that a sneeze is caused by an annoyance in the upper airway?. A hiccup is a contraction of the diagram.