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  • Writer's pictureVikas Kotak

6 Facts About Our Respiratory System That Will Leave You Breathless.

An average person takes approximately 22000 breaths per day exchanging around 11000 liters of air, thus making the respiratory system an extremely important part of our body. It has many different parts including the lungs, trachea and diaphragm that work together to help you breathe. Here are 5 interesting facts about this important system:

1. Chest movement which occurs when we breathe is not because of the air.

· Yes! you read that right when we breathe in the chest swells and when we breathe out the chest shrinks in size but that is not because of the air. So there is this muscle named the diaphragm between lungs and abdominal cavity, when we want to inhale this muscle contracts and moves down, this increases the size of the chest cavity and when we want to exhale this muscle relaxes and moves up thus reducing the size of the chest cavity[1].

2. Left and right lung are not the same.

· Our body has many functions to do but very little space for each of the organ systems, so it has to make some adjustments to fit in all the organs. One of those organs is the lungs, right lung is bigger and has three lobes while the left lung is smaller and has two lobes, this is to accommodate another important organ perhaps the most important organ, any guesses? YES! The heart [2]

3. Respiratory system is the biggest waste-removal engine.

· The respiratory system of our body not only performs function like breathing but it also removes waste from the body. It does so by removing carbon dioxide from the blood. Carbon dioxide is the waste product that is formed by cells of our body. It is transported to the lungs via blood and there carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen. [4]

4. The lungs are the only organ that can float on water.

· Lungs are made up of thousands of tiny balloon like structures called alveoli. This makes the density of the lung lower, similar to a sponge and enables it to float on water [4]. This property of the lung is used by doctors to perform multiple tests during autopsy.

5. Women and men have different respiratory rates.

· Metrics that are used to measure lung health like breathing rate and respiratory volumes are different in both sexes. Women have slights faster breathing rate and that is because of the size of the lung is slightly smaller. In fact, children also have different breathing rate, they have higher breathing rate as compared to an adult.

6. The average nose produces about a cupful of nasal mucus every day.

· As much as we find nasal mucus gross it is an important part of the defense mechanism of the respiratory system. It filters out air that we breathe in and removes dust allergens and microorganisms [5].


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