PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What happens to your lungs and respiratory system when you breathe?

ANSWER

Breathing starts at the nose and mouth. You inhale air into your nose or mouth, and it travels down the back of your throat and into your windpipe, or trachea. Your trachea then divides into air passages called bronchial tubes. For your lungs to perform their best, these airways need to be open during inhalation and exhalation and free from inflammation or swelling and excess or abnormal amounts of mucus. As the bronchial tubes pass through the lungs, they divide into smaller air passages called bronchioles. The bronchioles end in tiny balloon-like air sacs called alveoli. Your body has over 300 million alveoli. The alveoli are surrounded by a mesh of tiny blood vessels called capillaries. Here, oxygen from the inhaled air passes through the alveoli walls and into the blood. After absorbing oxygen, the blood leaves the lungs and is carried to your heart. Your heart then pumps it through your body to provide oxygen to the cells of your tissues and organs. As the cells use the oxygen, carbon dioxide is produced and absorbed into the blood. Your blood then carries the carbon dioxide back to your lungs, where it is removed from the body when you exhale.

SOURCES:

TeensHealth: "Lungs and Respiratory System."

American Lung Association: "Learn About Your Respiratory System."

American Medical Association: "Respiratory System: Basic Function."

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 14, 2017

SOURCES:

TeensHealth: "Lungs and Respiratory System."

American Lung Association: "Learn About Your Respiratory System."

American Medical Association: "Respiratory System: Basic Function."

Reviewed by William Blahd on July 14, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

What is the diaphragm's role in breathing?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.