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Vocal cords

This diagram shows the cross section of the larynx. The different types of cartilages are labeled.
The true vocal cords and vestibular folds of the larynx are viewed looking down from the laryngopharynx.

Trachea

The trachea (windpipe) extends from the larynx toward the lungs ( [link] a ). The trachea    is formed by 16 to 20 stacked pieces of cartilage that are connected by connective tissue. The fibroelastic membrane of the trachea allows it to stretch and expand slightly during inhalation and exhalation, whereas the rings of cartilage provide structural support and prevent the trachea from collapsing.

Trachea

The top panel of this figure shows the trachea and its organs. The major parts including the larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs are labeled.
(a) The tracheal tube is formed by stacked, C-shaped pieces of hyaline cartilage. (b) The layer visible in this cross-section of tracheal wall tissue between the hyaline cartilage and the lumen of the trachea is the mucosa, which is composed of pseudostratified ciliated columnar epithelium that contains goblet cells. LM × 1220. (Micrograph provided by the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)

Bronchi and bronchioles

The right and left primary bronchi branch off the trachea towards the right and left lungs. The primary bronchi further branch into the secondary and tertiary bronchi. A bronchiole    branches from the tertiary bronchi. Bronchioles, which are about 1 mm in diameter, further branch until they become the tiny terminal bronchioles, which lead to the structures of gas exchange. There are more than 1000 terminal bronchioles in each lung. The muscular walls of the bronchioles do not contain cartilage like those of the bronchi. However, smooth muscle can change the size of the tubing to increase or decrease airflow through it.

Respiratory gas exchange

The respiratory zone includes structures that are directly involved in gas exchange. The respiratory zone begins where the terminal bronchioles join a respiratory bronchiole    , the smallest type of bronchiole ( [link] ), which then leads to an alveolar duct, opening into a cluster of alveoli.

Respiratory zone

This image shows the bronchioles and alveolar sacs in the lungs and depicts the exchange of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood in the pulmonary blood vessels.
Bronchioles lead to alveolar sacs in the respiratory zone, where gas exchange occurs.

Alveoli

An alveolar sac    is a cluster of many individual alveoli that are responsible for gas exchange. An alveolus is approximately 200 μm in diameter with elastic walls that allow the alveolus to stretch during air intake, which greatly increases the surface area available for gas exchange. Alveoli are connected to their neighbors by alveolar pores , which help maintain equal air pressure throughout the alveoli and lung ( [link] ).

Structures of the respiratory zone

This figure shows the detailed structure of the alveolus. The top panel shows the alveolar sacs and the bronchioles. The middle panel shows a magnified view of the alveolus, and the bottom panel shows a micrograph of the cross section of a bronchiole.
(a) The alveolus is responsible for gas exchange. (b) A micrograph shows the alveolar structures within lung tissue. LM × 178. (Micrograph provided by the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School © 2012)

Diseases of the…

Respiratory system disorder: asthma

Asthma is common condition that affects the lungs in both adults and children. Approximately 8.2 percent of adults (18.7 million) and 9.4 percent of children (7 million) in the United States suffer from asthma. In addition, asthma is the most frequent cause of hospitalization in children.

Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation and fluid accumulation of the airway, and bronchospasms (that is, constriction of the bronchioles), which can inhibit air from entering the lungs. In addition, excessive mucus secretion can occur, which further contributes to blockage of the airway.

Bronchospasms occur periodically and lead to an “asthma attack.” An attack may be triggered by environmental factors such as dust, pollen, pet hair, or dander, changes in the weather, mold, tobacco smoke, and respiratory infections, or by exercise and stress.

Symptoms of an asthma attack involve coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and tightness of the chest. Symptoms of a severe asthma attack that requires immediate medical attention would include difficulty breathing that results in blue (cyanotic) lips or face, confusion, drowsiness, a rapid pulse, sweating, and severe anxiety. The severity of the condition, frequency of attacks, and identified triggers influence the type of medication that an individual may require. Longer-term treatments are used for those with more severe asthma. Short-term, fast-acting drugs that are used to treat an asthma attack are typically administered via an inhaler. For young children or individuals who have difficulty using an inhaler, asthma medications can be administered via a nebulizer.

Visit this site to learn more about what happens during an asthma attack. What are the three changes that occur inside the airways during an asthma attack?

Inflammation and the production of a thick mucus; constriction of the airway muscles, or bronchospasm; and an increased sensitivity to allergens.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

References

Bizzintino J, Lee WM, Laing IA, Vang F, Pappas T, Zhang G, Martin AC, Khoo SK, Cox DW, Geelhoed GC, et al. Association between human rhinovirus C and severity of acute asthma in children. Eur Respir J [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2013 Mar 22]; 37(5):1037–1042. Available from: (External Link)&gca=erj%3B37%2F5%2F1037&allch=

Kumar V, Ramzi S, Robbins SL. Robbins Basic Pathology. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Elsevier Ltd; 2005.

Martin RJ, Kraft M, Chu HW, Berns, EA, Cassell GH. A link between chronic asthma and chronic infection. J Allergy Clin Immunol [Internet]. 2001 [cited 2013 Mar 22]; 107(4):595-601. Available from: (External Link)&gca=erj%3B37%2F5%2F1037&allch=

Questions & Answers

Definition of respiration
Muhsin Reply
respiration is the process in which we breath in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide
Achor
where does digestion begins
Achiri Reply
in the mouth
EZEKIEL
what are the functions of follicle stimulating harmones?
Rashima Reply
stimulates the follicle to release the mature ovum into the oviduct
Davonte
what are the functions of Endocrine and pituitary gland
Chinaza
endocrine secrete hormone and regulate body process
Achor
while pituitary gland is an example of endocrine system and it's found in the Brain
Achor
what's biology?
Egbodo Reply
Biology is the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized field that cover their morphology, physiology,anatomy, behaviour,origin and distribution.
Lisah
biology is the study of life.
Alfreda
1-chemical level 2-cellular level 3-organ system level 4-tissue level 5-organism level 6-molecules
Dennis Reply
when cell are dead in any part of the body what happen to that place
Dennis Reply
describe the Krebs cycle
Lian Reply
the sequence of reactions by which most living cells generate energy during the process of aerobic respiration. It takes place in the mitochondria, consuming oxygen, producing carbon dioxide and water as waste products, and converting ADP to energy
shea
thanks
Lian
Andy is 1.0 m tall and weighs 45kg Bmi= weight / Height (squared) what's his bmi? Is it high or low?
zafirah Reply
where did our atmosphere came from
Thomas Reply
Our atmospher came from outer space.
R0se
Do mitotic and mitosis mean same?
Abhishek Reply
yes
momo
what are some mechanisms for regulating electrolytes and fluid in the body?
Anita
how do it move
Jaheim Reply
what is biology fall under
Twayne Reply
what is life?
Suliman Reply
define unit membran model?
Suliman
define unit membran model?
Suliman
different between human being and animals
Habeeb Reply
what is fat soluble drugs
Acho Reply
drugs that dissolve mostly in fatty tissues
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Source:  OpenStax, Human biology. OpenStax CNX. Dec 01, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11903/1.3
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