Lungs and its Functions; An Overview

The lungs are a pair of organs in the chest that are primarily responsible for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the air and blood. The exchange of the air between the lungs and blood are through the arterial and venous system. Arteries and veins both carry and move blood throughout the body, but the process for each is very different. The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped organs made up of spongy, pinkish-grey tissue. They take up most of the space in the chest, or the thorax (the part of the body between the base of the neck and diaphragm). One main stem bronchus leads to the right lung and one to the left lung. In the lungs, the main stem bronchi divide into smaller bronchi and then into even smaller tubes called bronchioles. Bronchioles end in tiny air sacs called alveoli. Breathing becomes more challenging in COPD because more mucus is produced in the lungs. The bronchioles become inflamed and narrower in COPD patient.

 The airways in the lungs are surrounded by bands of muscle. When the lungs are irritated, these muscle bands can tighten, making the breathing tube narrower as the lungs try to keep the irritant out. The rapid tightening of these muscles is called bronchospasm. Some lungs are very sensitive to irritants. Bronchospams may cause serious problems for people with COPD and they are often a major problem for those with asthma, because it is more difficult to breathe through narrowed airways.

  • Anatomy of Lungs
  • Insipiration
  • Expiration
  • Diaphragm Muscle

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