Lung functions and control of breathing

See also Overview of the Respiratory System.

Lung functions and control of breathing

The left lung is narrower than the right to make room for the heart. Shutterstock Lungs are sacks of tissue located just below the rib cage and above the diaphragm.

They are an important part of the respiratory system and waste management for the body. The right lung is a little wider than the left lung, but it is also shorter.

According to York Universitythe right lung is shorter because it has to make room for the liver, which is right beneath it. The left lung is narrower because it must make room for the heart. Babies tend to breath faster than adults. Facts, Function and Diseases] Though breathing seems simple, it is a very complex process.

The right lung is divided into three different sections, called lobes. The left lung has just two lobes. The lobes are made of sponge-like tissue that is surrounded by a membrane called pleura, which separates the lungs from the chest wall.

Each lung half has its own pleura sack. This is why, when one lung is punctured, the other can go on working. The lungs are like bellows.

Breathing and the Autonomic Nervous System - How Your Lungs Work | HowStuffWorks

When they expand, they pull air into the body. When they compress, they expel carbon dioxide, a waste gas that bodies produce. Lungs do not have muscles to pump air in and out, though.

The diaphragm and rib cage essentially pump the lungs. As a person breathes, air travels down the throat and into the trachea, also known as the windpipe. The trachea divides into smaller passages called the bronchial tubes. The bronchial tubes go into each lung. The bronchial tubes branch out into smaller subdivisions throughout each side of the lung.

The smallest branches are called bronchioles and each bronchiole has an air sac, also called alveoli. The alveoli have many capillary veins in their walls. Oxygen passes through the alveoli, into the capillaries and into the blood. It is carried to the heart and then pumped throughout the body to the tissues and organs.

As oxygen is going into the bloodstream, carbon dioxide passes from the blood into the alveoli and then makes its journey out of the body.

Lung functions and control of breathing

This process is called gas exchange. When a person breathes shallowly, carbon dioxide accumulates inside the body. This accumulation causes yawning, according to York University.

The lungs have a special way to protect themselves. Cilia, which look like a coating of very small hairs, line the bronchial tubes.

Lungs and Breathing: MedlinePlus

The cilia wave back and forth spreading mucus into the throat so that it can be dispelled by the body. Mucus cleans out the lungs and rids them of dust, germs and any other unwanted items that may end up in the lungs.

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Asthma, also called reactive airway disease before a diagnosis of asthma, is a lung disease where the air passageways in the lungs become inflamed and narrowed, making it hard to breath. In the United States, more than 25 million people, including 7 million children, have asthma, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Lung cancer is cancer that originates in the lungs.Breathing is usually automatic, controlled subconsciously by the respiratory center at the base of the brain.

Breathing continues during sleep and usually even when a person is unconscious. People can also control their breathing when they wish, for example during speech, singing, or voluntary breath holding.

Pulmonary function tests are a group of tests that measure breathing and how well the lungs are functioning.

How the Test is Performed Spirometry measures airflow. Breathing is usually automatic, controlled subconsciously by the respiratory center at the base of the brain. Breathing continues during sleep and usually even when a person is unconscious. People can also control their breathing when they wish, for example during speech, singing, or voluntary breath holding.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is long-term lung disease that prevents a person from breathing properly due to excess mucus or the degeneration of the lungs.

Chronic bronchitis and. 1.

The Respiratory System

The functions and dysfunctions of breathing. There is a developing interest in impact of dysfunctional breathing in common conditions such as asthma, chronic back and neck pain, postural stability, cardiovascular disease, anxiety and depression.

The respiratory centers that control your rate of breathing are in the brainstem or medulla. The nerve cells that live within these centers automatically send signals to the diaphragm and intercostal muscles to contract and relax at regular intervals.

Control of Breathing - Lung and Airway Disorders - MSD Manual Consumer Version