The Lungs are incredibly important in respiration, also known as the Respiratory System.  The lungs are an extraordinary organ that is separated by the Heart and located near the backbone.

The lungs are inflatable, light, spongy, and retractable.

The structure of the lungs are separated into “lobules” with 2 on the left and 3 on the right. The surfaces of the lungs is very smooth in texture. The right lung is typically larger than the left.

The Lungs are part of the lower respiratory tract. The begins in the trachea and continues into the smallest vessels of the lungs.  This also include the bronchial airways that terminate in Alveoli as well as the lung tissue, veins, arteries, nerves and lymphatic vessels.  

Function

The primary function is to take oxygen from the atmosphere and place it into the bloodstream. Oxygen comes into the lungs while inspiring.

Oxygen is essential in the metabolism of energy and byproducts of the human. Carbon dioxide is what is considered waste for the human body and can be rather harmful.

There are many circulating veins and arteries in the lungs that allow for oxygen and carbon dioxide to be exchanged.

Alveoli

–  The oxygen enters the Alveoli, or small sacs, of the respiratory tree.
–  This is where the exchange occurs; the oxygen crosses a very thin layer of skin from the alveoli into the blood stream.
–  Carbon dioxide does the opposite and leaves the blood and enters the alveoli to be released from the body.
–  Picture millions of grapes around a stem, the grapes are the alveoli and the stem is the blood capillaries.
–  They are adjacent to each other to help facilitate the transport.

Bronchioles

–  Bronchioles are further outside of the alveoli.
–  They help in the final transport of oxygen to the alveoli.
–  Imagine that they are the passageways to the alveoli.
–  Outside the bronchioles is an even larger passageway – it is the Bronchus
–  This is where the trachea enters into the lungs. Each lung has a bronchus that is divided off of the Trachea.
–  Medical term regarding lungs typically begins with pulmo referring to the Latin – of the lungs – or pneumo referring to the Greek – breath.

Medical Conditions that can Affect the Lungs

1.)  Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome [ARDS]

2.)  Alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency

3.)  Asthma

4.)  Bronchitis

5.)  COPD

6.)  Cystic Fibrosis

7.)  Churg-Straus Syndrome

8.)  Goodpastures Syndrome

9.)  Lung Cancer

10.)  Pleuritis

11.)  Pleural Effusion

12.)  Pulmonary Embolism

13.)  Pneumothorax

14.)  Pneumonia

15.)  Pneumoconiosis

16.)  Respiratory Failure

17.)  Sarcoidosis

18.)  Tuberculosis

19.)  Wegeners Granulomatosis

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