Understanding the Respiratory System

. Posted in ASTHMA

Asthma affects the functioning of the lungs and the entire respiratory system. As discussed in category 1, the nose is the portal to our body’s airway, allowing us to breathe clean, filtered, and humidified air. Once air is processed by the sinuses, it moves toward the lungs through the trachea (3, page 32). The trachea divides into two branches, or bronchi, each feeding into one of the lungs. Within each lung, the bronchi further divide into thousands of smaller branches, forming the bronchial tree. Each branch is surrounded by rings of muscles that constrict and relax in response to various stimuli as we breathe, allowing air to flow freely.

The air we inhale then travels to the tips of the bronchial tree and eventually reaches the alveolus, where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place among the network of blood vessels that surround it. The bronchi and alveoli are lined with their own mucous membranes, which perform the same filtering and humidifying functions as the ones in our nose and mouth.

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