This site is designed to support and expand the Health Curriculum at Hillendale.
Respiratory System This information will help you find out how the respiratory system helps you to breathe.
What is the respiratory system?
Your respiratory system is made up of the organs in your body that help you to breathe. Remember, that Respiration = Breathing. The goal of breathing is to deliver oxygen to the body and to take away carbon dioxide.Lungs
The lungs are the main organs of the respiratory system. In the lungs oxygen is taken into the body and carbon dioxide is breathed out. The red blood cells are responsible for picking up the oxygen in the lungs and carrying the oxygen to all the body cells that need it. The red blood cells drop off the oxygen to the body cells, then pick up the carbon dioxide which is a waste gas product produced by our cells. The red blood cells transport the carbon dioxide back to the lungs and we breathe it out when we exhale.
The trachea (TRAY-kee-uh} is sometimes called the windpipe. The trachea filters the air we breathe and branches into the bronchi.
The bronchi (BRAHN-ky) are two air tubes that branch off of the trachea and carry air directly into the lungs.
Breathing starts with a dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of the lungs called the diaphragm (DY-uh-fram). When you breathe in, the diaphragm contracts. When it contracts it flattens out and pulls downward. This movement enlarges the space that the lungs are in. This larger space pulls air into the lungs. When you breathe out, the diaphragm expands reducing the amount of space for the lungs and forcing air out. The diaphragm is the main muscle used in breathing.
Why Do I Yawn?
When you are sleepy or drowsy the lungs do not take enough oxygen from the air. This causes a shortage of oxygen in our bodies. The brain senses this shortage of oxygen and sends a message that causes you to take a deep long breath---a YAWN.
Why Do I Sneeze?
Sneezing is like a cough in the upper breathing passages. It is the body's way of removing an irritant from the sensitive mucous membranes of the nose. Many things can irritate the mucous membranes. Dust, pollen, pepper or even a cold blast of air are just some of the many things that may cause you to sneeze.
What Causes Hiccups?
Hiccups are the sudden movements of the diaphragm. It is involuntary --- you have no control over hiccups, as you well know. There are many causes of hiccups. The diaphragm may get irritated, you may have eaten to fast, or maybe some substance in the blood could even have brought on the hiccups.