Useful Information

The lungs: the trachea and the bronchi

The tracheobronchial tree

It is the tracheobronchial tree that connects the lung tissue to the outside:

It is composed of the trachea felt in front of the neck under the skin; at the entrance to the thorax, it divides into two bronchi : a right bronchus for the right lung and a left bronchus for the left lung.

Each bronchus divides again into smaller bronchi going to the lobes of the lungs, then they ramify more and more like the branches of a tree to end in bronchioles in the pulmonary alveoli, which form small sacs at the end of each.

The tracheobronchial tree is lined with a ciliated mucous membrane which secretes a mucus and pushes out inhaled dust, tars, ... When this mucous is attacked, it is inflammatory and will secrete more mucus (mucus ).

The cough allows to evacuate mucus, foreign bodies ... It sign a bronchial irritation.


Breathing consists of two movements that involve the respiratory muscles, particularly the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles. The widening of the rib cage brings the air into the lungs and its tightening makes it come out.

On inspiration, the air, rich in oxygen, enters through the nose or mouth, passes through the trachea and then the bronchi and bronchioles to reach the alveoli.

The gaseous exchange takes place between the alveoli and the blood of the pulmonary capillaries through the alveolar walls: the oxygen of the air passes into the blood; the carbon dioxide of the blood passes into the alveoli.

During expiration, air enriched with carbon dioxide and depleted of oxygen is released externally through the same path.

When the blood is depleted of oxygen, it is dark. When there is an insufficiency of the respiratory function, the sick person presents bluish extremities (end of the nose, lobe of the ears, nails), one speaks of cyanosis.

Remember: breathing is regulated by oxygen requirements. If the lungs do not meet these needs, there will be shortness of breath, cyanosis.

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Read also :

> Difficult breathing (dyspnea)
> Respiratory insufficiency: what is it?
> Pulmonary embolism: causes, symptoms and treatments

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