Respiratory System

1523 words 7 pages

The respiratory system consists of all the organs involved in breathing. These include the nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi and lungs. The respiratory system does two very important things: it brings oxygen into our bodies, which we need for our cells to live and function properly; and it helps us get rid of carbon dioxide, which is a waste product of cellular function. The nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea and bronchi all work like a system of pipes through which the air is funnelled down into our lungs. There, in very small air sacs called alveoli, oxygen is brought into the bloodstream and carbon dioxide is pushed from the blood out into the air. When something goes wrong with part of the respiratory
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The respiratory system is also subject to allergic reactions such as hay fever and asthma, brought about when the immune system is stimulated by pollen, dust, or other irritants. Hay fever is characterized by a runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. It usually occurs seasonally in response to abundant pollen in the air. In asthma, a person has difficulty breathing because the bronchi and bronchioles are temporarily constricted and inflamed. An asthma attack is typically mild, but can be severe enough to be life threatening. Laryngitis, an inflammation of the larynx, is caused by a viral infection, irritants such as cigarette smoke, or by overuse of the voice. Laryngitis may cause hoarseness, or the voice may be reduced to a whisper until the inflammation subsides. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the membranes that line the bronchi or bronchioles. Bronchitis results from viral or bacterial infection or from irritating chemicals. Infections caused by bacteria or viruses can lead to pneumonia, a potentially serious condition of the lungs in which fluid and inflammation builds up in the alveoli, impeding the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the capillaries and the alveoli. Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium that attacks the lungs and sometimes other body tissues as well. If infections in the lungs are left untreated, the disease destroys lung tissue. In the past,


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