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Respiratory System


The main job of the respiratory system is to supply the blood with oxygen. The blood delivers

oxygen to all parts of the body. The respiratory system does this through breathing. When we

breathe, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.

Respiration is done through the mouth, nose, trachea, lungs, and diaphragm. Oxygen enters the

respiratory system through the mouth and the nose. The oxygen then passes through the larynx
(where speech sounds are produced) and the trachea which is a tube that enters the chest cavity.

In the chest cavity, the trachea splits into two smaller tubes called the bronchi. Each bronchus

then divides again forming the bronchial tubes. The bronchial tubes lead directly into the lungs.

There they divide into many smaller tubes which connect to tiny sacs called alveoli. The oxygen

passes into the alveoli. Then spreads through the capillaries into the blood. The carbon dioxide

follows the same path out of the lungs when you exhale.

• The diaphragm's job is to help pump the carbon dioxide out of the lungs and pull the

oxygen into the lungs. As the diaphragm contracts and relaxes, breathing takes place.

When the diaphragm contracts, oxygen is pulled into the lungs. When the diaphragm

relaxes, carbon dioxide is pumped out of the lungs

• The SINUSES are hollow spaces in the bones of the head. Small openings connect them

to the nasal cavity. Their functions include helping to regulate the temperature and

humidity of air breathed in. They also lighten the bone structure of the head and give

quality to the voice.

• The NASAL CAVITY (nose) is the entrance for outside air into the Respiratory System.

The hairs that line the inside wall are part of the air-cleansing system.

• Air also enters through the ORAL CAVITY (mouth), especially in people who have a

mouth-breathing habit or whose nasal passages may be temporarily blocked, as by a cold.

• The ADENOIDS are overgrown lymph tissue at the top of the throat. When they get in

the way with breathing, they are generally removed. The lymph system elps resist body

infection by filtering out foreign matter, including germs, and producing cells to fight

• The TONSILS are lymph nodes in pharynx that often become infected. They are a non

important part of the immune system of the body. When infected, they are generally


• The PHARYNX (throat) collects incoming air from the nose and passes it downward to

the trachea (windpipe).

• The LARYNX (voice box) contains the vocal cords. It is the place where air being

breathed in and out creates voice sounds.

• The ESOPHAGUS is the passage leading from the mouth and throat to the stomach.

• The TRACHEA (windpipe) is the passage leading from the pharynx to the lungs.

• The RIBS are bones supporting and protecting the chest cavity. They move to a limited

degree, helping the lungs to expand and contract.

• The trachea divides into the two main BRONCHI (tubes), one for each lung. These, in

turn, subdivide further into bronchioles.

• The RIGHT LUNG is divided into three LOBES, or sections.

• The left lung is divided into two LOBES.

• The PLEURA are the two membranes, that surround each lobe of the lungs and separate

the lungs from the chest wall.

The DIAPHRAGM is the strong wall of muscle that separates the chest cavity from the

abdominal cavity.