How the Respiratory System Works

Your respiratory system’s primary function is to breathe in air, absorb oxygen into the bloodstream, and breathe out carbon dioxide. We are all born with the same equipment that does the same thing, but some of us end up, for whatever reason, needing a little help. First off, let’s take a look at how the lungs and airways work. Then we can understand the different kinds of diseases that can cause problems for us down the road.

Air comes into the body through the nose or mouth, and enters the airways. Airways are the tubes that carry air into our lungs. As they branch out, they become smaller and smaller, and eventually connect to small air sacs where fresh oxygen from the air is exchanged for carbon dioxide in the blood. This oxygen is then taken through the blood to the rest of your body, where it is used to produce energy.

Here are the main components of your respiratory system:

This is your main windpipe, which starts at the back of your throat. 
You have two of these, a left and right one that split off from the trachea to feed each lung. 
These tiny tubes branch off from the bronchi, extending throughout all of your lungs.
These are the tiny air sacs that connect to each bronchiole. Blood passes through here, exchanging fresh oxygen from the air for carbon dioxide to be carried back out and exhaled.
This is your primary breathing muscle, located at the base of your chest. 

People who suffer from chronic lung disorders have something wrong with one or more parts of this system. This prevents their lungs from working properly, and as a result, prevents their body from getting the oxygen it needs to function properly.

If you or a loved one have a chronic lung disorder and require oxygen therapy, you may benefit from using a portable oxygen concentrator such as the Inogen One.

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