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35 Interesting Facts About The Respiratory System

Interesting Facts About The Respiratory System:


The respiratory system is a series of organs that are responsible for breathing. The lungs are the main organ of this system, which also includes the oral cavity, nasal passage, pharynx, trachea, larynx, bronchioles, and bronchi.

List Of 35 Interesting Facts About The Respiratory System:


#1 Between 1980 and 2014, the rate of death from CDRs (chronic respiratory diseases), like – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, increased by around 30% overall in the United States.

#2 Only 10 percent of patients with lung cancer are alive 5 years after the cancer diagnosis. African American men are approximately 40% more likely to develop lung cancer than Caucasian men. According to the American Cancer Society, around 65 percent of individuals diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older.


#3 The respiratory system does 2 primary things:

  • it brings oxygen into your body, which you need for your cells to live and function correctly;
  • it helps us get rid of carbon dioxide, a waste product of cellular function.

#4 The respiratory system is dependent on the proper functioning of the circulatory system as oxygen and carbon dioxide are transported in the bloodstream.

#5 Moreover, the respiratory system allows you to talk. In addition, the sound of the voice depends on:

  • how much air is being exhaled;
  • the shape of the chest;
  • the tension and length of the vocal cords.


#6 The upper respiratory system includes:

  • the nose and nares;
  • the pharynx;
  • the larynx.

#7 The lower respiratory system includes:

  • the trachea;
  • the bronchi;
  • the bronchioles;
  • the lungs;
  • the alveoli.

Nasal Cavity

#8 The nasal cavity with its adjacent spaces is lined by a respiratory mucosa. The mucous membrane lining in the nasal cavity traps dust particles. Furthermore, cilia (tiny hairs) help to move the dust particles within the nose in order to be blown out or sneezed.

Oral Cavity

#9 It includes:

  • the small area behind the wisdom teeth;
  • the lips;
  • the bony roof of the mouth;
  • the floor of the mouth under the tongue;
  • the lower and upper gums;
  • the front two-thirds of the tongue;
  • the lining inside the cheeks and lips.


#10 The pharynx, better known as the throat, is a funnel-shaped tube that acts as a passageway for food and air. The lowest portion of the pharynx joins the esophagus.


#11 It is a flap of tissue that protects the entrance to the trachea. Also, the epiglottis closes when anything is swallowed, which should go into the stomach and esophagus.


#12 It is an organ of a complex structure that has a dual function:

  • as the organ of phonation;
  • as an air canal to the lungs and a controller of its access.


#13 Trachea, also known as the windpipe, is a tube that is composed of cartilage. It is lined with a mucous membrane that is situated in front of the esophagus. The windpipe divides into the left and right bronchi.

The Bronchi

#14 The trachea diverges into two bronchi. One leads to the right lung, the other to the left lung. Inside the lungs, each of the bronchi divides into smaller bronchi, called bronchioles.


#15 They are two cone-shaped organs that are made up of a pinkish-gray tissue. They are located in the chest region.

#16 The left lung has 2 sections, called lobes. The right lung has 3 lobes.

#17 The lungs are protected by the rib cage, which is made up of 12 sets of ribs. These ribs go around the lungs to keep them safe and are connected to the spine in the back.

The Pleurae

#18 The pleurae are essential as they help you breathe in and out smoothly, without any friction. Moreover, the pleurae make sure that when the ribcage expands on breathing in, the lungs expand as well to fill the extra space.

The Diaphragm

#19 It is a strong wall of muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. By moving downward, the diaphragm creates suction to draw in air and expand your lungs.

Intercostal Muscles

#20 Intercostal muscles are several groups of muscles that run between the ribs.

Pulmonary Veins

#21 These are blood vessels that transport blood that is rich in oxygen from your lungs back to your heart.

Pulmonary Arteries

#22 These are blood vessels that carry oxygen-depleted blood from your heart to the lungs.


#23 Chronic respiratory diseases are diseases of the airways and other structures of your lungs.

Lung Cancer

#24 Every year, approximately 20,000 people in the United States die of lung cancer. Smoking cigarettes is estimated to cause around 70 percent of all lung cancer deaths and 40 percent of CRDs worldwide, according to the WHO Global Status Report on NCDs.

#25 Lung cancer most likely starts when precancerous changes occur inside structures of the lungs, including the bronchioles, bronchi, and alveoli, according to the American Cancer Society.

#26 Consider screening if you smoked a pack a day for 30 years, are older than 55 years, presently smoke or quit within 15 years.

#27 When present, common symptoms of lung cancer may include:

  • recurring infections, such as – pneumonia or bronchitis, may be one of the symptoms of lung cancer;
  • coughing – this includes a persistent cough that doesn’t go away;
  • fatigue;
  • loss of appetite;
  • wheezing or noisy breathing;
  • shortness of breath;
  • coughing up blood or rust-colored sputum should always be discussed with your healthcare professional.


#28 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. It is the fourth leading cause of death in the US. COPD affects around 7% of adults and is responsible for over 700,000 hospitalizations annually in the US.

#29 The main symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a daily cough and mucus production at least 90 days per year for 2 consecutive years. Other symptoms may include:

  • swelling in feet, ankles, or legs;
  • shortness of breath, particularly during physical exercise;
  • unintended weight loss;
  • wheezing;
  • lack of energy;
  • chest tightness;
  • frequent respiratory infections;
  • the blueness of the lips or fingernail beds;
  • having to clear the throat first thing in the morning.


#30 In the present day, over 25 million Americans have asthma. The prevalence of asthma in the EU is 9.4 percent in children and 8.2 percent in adults.

#31 This chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways is characterized by episodes of reversible breathing problems due to airway obstruction and narrowing. Populations with higher rates of asthma include:

  • employees with certain exposures in the workplace;
  • children, especially boys;
  • people living below the federal poverty level;
  • people living in the northeastern US;
  • Puerto Ricans;
  • African Americans;
  • women (among adults).

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#32 It is a lung infection caused by bacteria. The disease is the leading cause of death among children under age 5. Symptoms may include:

  • blue coloration of the skin around the mouth;
  • rapid breathing;
  • a cough;
  • breathing difficulties;
  • chest pain;
  • fever;
  • headache;
  • general malaise;
  • abdominal pain;
  • loss of appetite.

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#33 Emphysema is a chronic lung condition in which the alveoli become larger, however, they decrease in number.

#34 The symptoms of emphysema include:

  • cyanosis due to lack of oxygen;
  • breathlessness with exertion;
  • barrel-shaped chest;
  • fatigue;
  • a cough with phlegm production;
  • susceptibility to chest infections.

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#35 To keep your respiratory system healthy, it is recommended that you:

  • practice good hygiene;
  • don’t smoke cigarettes and avoid second-hand smoking;
  • have indoor plants into your living spaces;
  • drink plenty of water;
  • have a diet rich in fresh fruits and veggies;
  • wash your hands regularly;
  • exercise regularly, preferably in an area with clean air;
  • avoid harmful environmental factors, like – chemicals and dust.