Respiratory System

by Kevin Pederson


We all need air to breathe. Hence, respiration is an important process needed for the regular functioning of the human body, as well as vital for survival. In fact, respiration is a process which keeps on continuing right from the moment we are born till the time we expire. The process of breathing is scientifically known as respiration.

Respiration can be defined as a procedure where oxygen is delivered to all the parts of the body. The oxygen is first inhaled by our body through breathing. Though, there is a vital difference between respiration and breathing, both the terms are often used in lieu of each other.

Breathing inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide through the nose. This inhaled oxygen is then passed through the nasal tract to the lungs. The oxygen travels through the wind pipe in order to reach the diaphragm where the process of respiration takes place. The diaphragm lies at the bottom of the chest cavity. The chest cavity consists of two tubes like structures known as the bronchi. These bronchi are further segmented into lots of smaller tubes whose ends are covered by small sacs known as alveoli. It is in these alveoli’s from where the pure oxygen is transferred to various parts of the body and the impure carbon dioxide is sent out.

Breathing makes use of external organs like nose, trachea etc. On the other hand respiration is a much complex process which includes the bronchi, alveoli and diaphragm.

Due to elevated pollution levels, increased cigarette smoking and occupational hazards, an increasing trend in the respiratory problems faced by people can be noticed. Some of the common respiratory diseases include

  • Asthma
  • Wheezing
  • Chronic cough
  • Hypersensitiveness to dust particles etc.

Continued abuse in the form of excessive cigarette smoking can even lead to hazardous implications such as Lung Cancer or Apnea. Apnea is a sort of life threatening respiratory disease whose common symptoms include halted breathing. Its most dangerous form includes sleep apnea which may arrest a person’s breathing pattern while sleeping leading to death in some cases.

Apart from the major respiratory diseases which demand immediate medical attention, the more common ones include chronic cough and cold, historical patterns of allergy to certain substances. The worst affected include the active and ex smokers who become so used to their ailments that they don’t even consider seeking professional help for it from a physician. As a result, such people are at a higher risk of facing breathing problems in their old age.

Hence, one should practice some breathing exercises which may reduce stress and regulate our breathing pattern. Also, conscious efforts must be made by individuals to restrain themselves from negative influences such as smoking and occupational diseases.


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