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Respiratory Function, Facts Organs & Anatomy

The five primary functions of the respiratory system are: –

  • To exchange O2 and CO2 between the atmosphere and the blood.
  • To maintain homeostatic regulation of body pH.
  • To protect us from inhaled pathogens and pollutants.
  • To maintain the vocal cords for normal communication (vocalization).
  • To remove the heat produced during cellular respiration.

Your lungs are part of the respiratory system, a group of organs and tissues that work together to help you breathe. The respiratory system’s main job is to move fresh air into your body while removing waste gases.

There are Five Functions of the Respiratory System

Gas Exchange – oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Breathing – movement of air.
Sound Production.
Oldfactory Assistance – sense of smell.
Protection – from dust and microbes entering body through mucus production, cilia, and coughing.

Allows you to talk and to smell. Brings air to body temperature and moisturizes it to the humidity level your body needs. Delivers oxygen to the cells in your body. Removes waste gases, including carbon dioxide, from the body when you exhale.

Respiratory failure is a serious condition that develops when the lungs can’t get enough oxygen into the blood. Buildup of carbon dioxide can also damage the tissues and organs and further impair oxygenation of blood and, as a result, slow oxygen delivery to the tissues.

Inside the lungs, oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide waste through the process called external respiration. This respiratory process takes place through hundreds of millions of microscopic sacs called alveoli. Oxygen from inhaled air diffuses from the alveoli into pulmonary capillaries surrounding them.

The bronchial tubes divide into smaller air passages called bronchi, and then into bronchioles. The bronchioles end in tiny air sacs called alveoli, where oxygen is transferred from the inhaled air to the blood. After absorbing oxygen, the blood leaves the lungs and is carried to the heart.

The oxygen we inhale is used to breakdown glucose into carbon dioxide and water. Energy is released in the process. The breakdown of glucose occurs in the cells of an organism (cellular respiration). If the breakdown occurs without the use of oxygen, the respiration is called anaerobic respiration.