The Human Respiratory Tract

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The Upper Respiratory Tract
The human respiratory system involves complex organization of structural and defense mechanisms for the inhalation and exhalation of gases. The primary function of the respiratory system is to breathe air, provide oxygen to the bloodstream, and expel carbon dioxide. The respiratory system also provides transport of respiratory gases, internal respiration, pulmonary ventilation, and external respiration. There are two zones of the respiratory system, the conducting zone and the respiratory zone. The conducting zone is comprised of structured conduits for air to flow to sites of gas exchange and includes the nose, nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and bronchi. The respiratory zone is a site of gas exchange
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The pharynx connects the nasal cavity to the larynx and esophagus and provides a pathway. The soft tissue of the upper respiratory tract is supported by the skeletal system including the perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone which separates the nasal cavity into two sides and the nasal septum structure. The internal nose is connected to the nasopharynx where smell and sense of taste travel to the olfactory bulb. A thin tissue flap, the epiglottis, covers the pharynx to prevent food and liquids from entering the air passages to the lungs. The pharynx is comprised of three sections including the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx to aid in the airflow and process of food digestion. The laryngeal skeleton is comprised of cartilage to form the true vocal folds for phonation. The trachea then divides into two bronchi which are both supported by C-shaped cartilaginous rings to hold open the tubes and provide airflow. The trachea is lined with mucosa secreted by pseudostratified epithelial goblet cells and mucousal cells. The conducting system further continues to the bronchial tree where it splits and divides into several sections to increase surface …show more content…
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