Posted In: Biology

As we all know, the human body requires a constant supply of oxygen to stay alive. The human respiratory system consists of organs whose main function is to take in oxygen and and give out carbon dioxide.

Respiratory System | Image source:

Understand the human respiratory system parts and functions

The human respiratory system parts and functions are as follows:

This includes the nose, mouth, pharynx, larynx, trachea and bronchi which carry air between the lungs and the exterior body.

The nose is the main opening for the respiratory system and is also the first section of the body’s airway. The function of the nose is to filter the air before it enters the body. It clears the air from dust, mold, pollen and other impurities.

The mouth can be used to replace the function of the nose when needed. The main advantage of breathing through the mouth is that you can breathe in air more quickly whenever needed.

The pharynx is a muscular funnel that extends from the nasal cavity to the esophagus. It is also used to swallow food and therefore the opening is covered to ensure that air passes to the trachea.

The larynx is a short section of the airway. It is located in the front portion of the neck. Many cartilage structures make up the larynx.

The trachea is called the windpipe. It remains open to the air at all times. It allows air to pass through the neck and into the thorax. The main function of the trachea is to allows the air to enter and exit the lungs.

At the end of trachea the air splits into the right and the left branches and is known as the primary bronchi. The bronchi run into the left and the right lung before entering the smaller secondary bronchi. This secondary bronchi carry the air into the right and the left lungs respectively.

The lungs pass oxygen inside the body and expel carbon dioxide. Each lung is surrounded by the pleural membrane which allows the lungs to expand as we breath in.

Quick fact: Did you know that the left lung and the right lung are different in shape and size?

Muscles used for respiration
These muscles surround the lungs and allow air to be inhaled and exhaled from the lungs. The main muscle of respiration in the human body is the diaphragm.  

How the respiratory system works with the circulatory system
When we inhale, oxygen goes into our lungs and then into the left side of the heart. The heart then pumps it into the bloodstream. Blood travels in all the parts of the body and also the circulatory system. This is how the respiratory system works with the circulatory system.

How does the respiratory system works with other important systems

The respiratory system works with other systems of the human body like the digestive system, nervous system, the immune system and also the exocrine system.

  • The digestive system transforms food into energy and the respiratory system needs the fuel to work.
  • The lungs respond to inflation, deflation and can thus activate the nervous system.
  • If a foreign particle enters the respiratory system the immune system gives the body protection.
  • In the exocrine system, it works with the  kidneys to maintain the right level of oxygen in the bloodstream.




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