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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 respiratory system organs that function the same way, but some of us end up, for a variety of reasons, needing a little help with our respiratory function. First, let’s take a look at a respiratory system diagram to help us understand how the lungs and airways work. Then we can understand the different kinds of diseases that affect the respiratory system, and how they can cause problems for us down the road.

Let’s start with basic respiratory function. 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 parts of the lungs called alveoli, 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.

How does the Respiratory System work?

In the respiratory system diagram below, you can see each of the main components of the respiratory system and how they work together to bring oxygen to your body and eliminate carbon dioxide:

Trachea:
This is your main windpipe, which starts at the back of your throat. It helps to filter the air, then branches into your two bronchi.

Bronchi:
You have two of these tubes, a left and right one,which split off from the trachea to feed air into each lung.

Bronchioles:
These tiny tubes branch off from the bronchi, extending throughout all of your lungs.

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Alveoli:
These are the tiny air sacs that connect to each bronchiole. Blood passes through here, exchanging fresh oxygen from the air for carbon dioxide, which is collected from the body’s cells in red blood cells, and then carried back to the lungs and exhaled.

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Diaphragm:
This is a dome-shaped muscle below your lungs and it is your primary breathing muscle. It flattens and pulls forward, which causes you to inhale air into your lungs. It expands during exhalation, which forces the air back out of your lungs.

What Is the Function of the Respiratory System?

The respiratory system is designed to pull oxygen from the air via the lungs, where it enters the bloodstream, while expelling gathered carbon dioxide out of the body. In this way, the respiratory system organs help distribute oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. Oxygen is essential for the cells and the body as a whole to function correctly and stay alive and healthy. On the other hand, when the blood retains excessive carbon dioxide, which is a byproduct of cell metabolism, it can cause increases in blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and blood flow to vital organs, as well as restriction in blood flow to the extremities.

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. This dysfunction can also cause excess carbon dioxide to build up in the bloodstream, which causes problems as well.

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.

Respiratory Function and Inogen

If you are living with a chronic lung condition like COPD, and your respiratory system isn’t working the way it should, Inogen can help. The Inogen One portable oxygen concentrator system is ideal for portable and stationary oxygen therapy. For most people with COPD and other chronic lung disorders, the breathlessness and other physical symptoms cause a significant impact on daily activities. In the past, oxygen therapy meant being tethered to an oxygen tank or stationary concentrator, requiring that you stay in one place or carry heavy tanks that need to be refilled regularly. Inogen One has eliminated all that.

With Inogen One, you get your oxygen anytime, anywhere, with a portable system that requires no refills or heavy tanks. This small system travels easily in a pack or on wheels, and it pulls oxygen continuously from the atmosphere. The Inogen One portable oxygen concentrators are powered by rechargeable battery or any AC or DC power source, so you can use it at home or on the go.

Living with COPD and other chronic lung conditions requires some adjustments, but it should not mean missing out on your life. With Inogen, you can enjoy freedom, independence and mobility while still receiving the benefits of your oxygen therapy. Talk to your doctor and get the respiratory system facts about your lung disorder to learn how an Inogen One System can help you today.

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