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Lung Basics

All About Your Lungs

We breathe 25000 times a day and inhale about 11000 litres of air per day using our Lungs.
It it important to care for our Lungs for a good healthy life.

Lungs as we know are the primary organs for respiration in human beings. They work tirelessly to supply oxygen to our body and expel carbon dioxide from the body. Breathing also assists in our ability to speak and sing.

Lung Capacity i.e. the volume of gas within the lungs at the maximal inspiration (breathing in) is known to directly impact health, stamina and longevity of life.

Why is it Important to Breathe?

Breathing is important for survival. It is important for vital functioning of the body and all its organs up to the minutest cellular level.

The main function of our lungs is to help oxygen from the air we breathe enter the red blood cells in the body. These Red blood cells then carry oxygen around the body to be used in the cells found in our body. The lungs also help the body to get rid of Co2 gas when we breathe out. The oxygen that enters the body through respiration is used by each and every cell within the body for growth and functioning purposes.

Other Important Activities Performed by Lungs

  • Changing the pH of blood (whether the blood is more acid or alkali) by increasing or decreasing the amount of Co2 in the body.
  • Filtering out small gas bubbles that may occur in the bloodstream.
  • Converting a chemical in the blood called angiotensin I to angiotensin II. These chemicals are important in the control of blood pressure.
  • Each one of us is born with a pair of lungs (i.e. 2 lungs) – the Right Lung and the Left Lung placed on either side of the heart in the chest cavity. The lungs are spongy air-filled organs which help our body to receive oxygen from the environment and expel carbon-di-oxide from the body into the atmosphere.
  • The air from outside enters our body through the nose into the windpipe (trachea) into the lungs via the bronchi. The movement of the air is regulated by the movement of the diaphragm (a sheet of skeletal muscle) which separates the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity. The movement of diaphragm regulates our breathing. When humans breathe in or inhale, the lungs expand. This expansion is possible only when diaphragm squeezes. The diaphragm is actually a small dome-shaped muscles seated right below the lungs. If the diaphragm malfunctions, one will experience breathing difficulties.
  • The respiratory tract (also known as airways) is divided into upper and lower respiratory tract. The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, nasal cavity, sinuses, pharynx, and the part of the larynx above the vocal folds. The lower respiratory tract includes the lower part of the larynx above the vocal chords, the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles and the alveoli. The airways provide the safe passage for the air to reach the lungs.

Why is it Important to be Able to Breathe Properly?

Improper/ impaired breathing leads to decreased lung capacity.

A decrease in lung capacity can negatively affect our health causing

Some Interesting Facts About Lungs

  • Right lung is shorter and wider than the left lung.
  • Left lung has two parts (upper and lower lobe) and Right lung has three parts (upper, middle and lower lobe).
  • If the lungs were opened flat, they would cover an entire tennis court.
  • Total length of airways running through the two lungs is 2400 kilometers
  • Two lungs together contain about 300-500 million alveoli (tiny spongy air sacs which facilitate the gaseous exchange)
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