Careful examination of the respiratory system and lung, The cells of the body need oxygen to survive, and the respiratory system provides this oxygen. This article will look at how breathing and other respiratory system functions, related diseases, and ways to diagnose and treat them.
The human respiratory system is a collection of organs responsible for receiving oxygen and excreting carbon dioxide. The main organs of the respiratory system are the lungs, which exchange gases during respiration.
The lungs work with the circulatory system to carry oxygen-rich blood to all the cells in the body. The blood then collects carbon dioxide and other waste products from all over the body and transports them to the lungs; Where they leave the body when exhaled.
The human body needs oxygen to survive. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, after only about five minutes without oxygen, brain cells die gradually, leading to severe brain damage and eventually death.
Every adult breathes 12 to 20 times a minute.
Normal breathing varies according to age and activity level; But various conditions, including illness and injury, can decrease or increase abnormal breathing. Usually, the rate of respiration in adults is between 12 and 20 beats per minute, and the rate of respiration, more or less, is a sign of health problems.
Respiratory rate in infants and children can vary according to their age, calculated in infants between 30 and 60 times per minute and decreases with regular respiration rate.
What is the respiratory system?
The human body’s respiratory system is a network of organs and tissues that help our body breathe. This system allows the body to absorb oxygen from the air so that the body’s organs can continue to function.
The respiratory system clears excess gases, such as carbon dioxide, from our bloodstream, including the airways, lungs, and blood vessels. The muscles that provide the motor energy to the lungs are also part of the respiratory system. These parts work together to carry oxygen to the body and remove waste gases such as carbon dioxide.
The respiratory system begins in the nose, continues through the throat and larynx, and then reaches the trachea, which branches into this area to form the bronchus or bronchi, and finally to the bronchioles the lungs.
These respiratory branches terminate in clustered structures called air sacs, or alveoli, made up of a layer of squamous cell cells surrounded by a network of capillaries. Gas exchange takes place in air sacs. Changes in volume and pressure in the lungs are the main driving forces for respiration.
The air compounds we breathe.
Respiratory air has the following composition:
- Nitrogen: 78%
- Oxygen: 21%
- Carbon dioxide: 0.03 to 0.04%
- A small amount of hydrogen and noble gases
The main parts of the respiratory system
The main parts of the respiratory system in humans and most mammals are divided into three parts. The first part is a set of ducts that carry air from the outside to the lungs. The second part includes the respiratory muscles such as the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles in the chest. The lungs make up the third part.
According to another classification, the respiratory system has two parts:
The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, mouth, and beginning of the trachea (the part that draws air in and out)
The lower respiratory tract includes the trachea, bronchi, bronchi, and lungs (breathing is done in this part of the system).
The organs of the lower respiratory tract are located in the thoracic cavity. They are separated from the upper part by the ribs, sternum, and the muscles between the ribs and the diaphragm (which forms the muscle between the thorax and the abdominal cavity).
This section will introduce and examine each part of the respiratory system’s role and the path that air travels in the body to breathe by exchanging gases.
Nasal cavity and nose
The “nose and nasal cavity” (Nose and Nasal Cavity) are the primary external sphincters of the respiratory system and are the first part of the body’s airways through which air travels the lungs.
The nose is a structure in the face made up of cartilage, bone, muscle, and skin and supports and protects the nasal cavity’s front. The nasal cavity contains a hollow space inside the nose and skull covered with hair and mucous membranes.
The nasal cavity’s function is to warm, moisturize, and filter air is entering the body before it reaches the lungs. The hair and mucous membranes covering the nasal cavity help trap dust, small organisms, pollen, and other environmental contaminants before they reach the respiratory system’s internal parts. The air leaving the body through the nose before exhaling returns moisture and heat to the nasal cavity.
The mouth, known in the respiratory system structure as the “Oral Cavity,” is the respiratory system’s secondary outer mouth. Most normal breathing is done through the nasal cavity, But the oral cavity can supplement or replace the nasal cavity functions if necessary.
Because the airway from the mouth to the body is shorter than the airway from the nose, the mouth, unlike the nose, does not heat and humidify the air entering the lungs and lacks damp hair and mucus that filters the air passing through.
One advantage of breathing through the mouth is that the shorter the distance between the mouth and the respiratory tract and the larger the mouth inlet’s diameter, the more air can enter the body more quickly.
The pharynx is a muscular funnel that extends from the posterior end of the nasal cavity to the upper end of the esophagus and larynx. The throat is a common passageway for air and food to pass through the body and is divided into three areas:
- Throat (Oropharynx)
The nasopharynx is the upper pharyngeal region behind the nasal cavity. Inhaled air is transferred from the nasal cavity to the nasopharynx and descends through the pharyngeal opening, located at the back of the oral cavity.
Inhaled air enters the pharyngeal cavity through the oral cavity, then enters the larynx, where the epiglottis directs it to the laryngeal opening. The epiglottis is a flap of elastic cartilage that acts as a switch between the trachea and esophagus.
Because the throat is also used to swallow food, the epiglottis allows air to enter the trachea by covering the esophageal sphincter. During the swallowing process, the epiglottis moves to cover the trachea to ensure that food enters the esophagus and prevents suffocation.
Have you ever wondered why we cough while eating and talking at the same time? Talking while eating or swallowing causes a persistent cough; the reason for this reaction is the presence of epiglottis. In this case, the epiglottis is forced to open to allow air to escape; This action causes food to enter the airway when eating and causes coughing. (Everything About Dry Cough And Its Connection To The Coronavirus)
The larynx, also called the soundbox, is a short section of the airway that connects to the trachea. The larynx is located in the front of the neck; Exactly below the hyoid bone and above the trachea.
Several cartilaginous structures make up the larynx. The epiglottis is a piece of laryngeal cartilage that acts as a covering for the larynx when swallowed.
The thyroid cartilage is lower than the epiglottis, often known as the apple; it is usually large and visible in adult men. The thyroid gland holds the anterior end of the larynx open and protects the vocal folds. Below the thyroid cartilage is the ring-shaped cricoid cartilage that holds the larynx open and supports its posterior end. (Useful Foods For Those With Low Thyroid Function)
In addition to cartilage, the larynx has unique structures known as vocal cords that allow the body to produce speech and song. The vocal cords are folds of mucous membranes that vibrate to produce a variety of sounds.
If the vocal cords’ traction and vibration velocity change, the larynx’s sound changes; The work is used in singing.
The trachea is a 12.5 cm long tube made of C-shaped hyaline cartilage rings covered with ciliated columnar tissue. It attaches the laryngeal trachea to the bronchi and allows air to pass from the throat to the chest.
The cartilage rings that make up the trachea always keep it open for air to enter. The trachea’s primary function is to provide a clear airway for air to enter and exit the lungs. The trachea’s lining produces mucus that traps dust and other contaminants and prevents them from reaching the lungs.
The cilia on the surface of the trachea’s epithelial cells move these infections through the mucosa to the throat; Where they can be swallowed and digested in the gastrointestinal tract.
Bronze and bronchus
At the lower end of the trachea, the airway divides into left and right branches, known as the primary bronchi (Bronchus). The left and right bronchi enter each of the lungs before branching into smaller secondary bronchi.
The secondary bronchi carry air to the lobes of the lungs. In turn, these bronchi divide into a large number of smaller bronchi, from which the bronchiole is made and spreads throughout the respiratory tract.
Each bronchus is divided into smaller branches less than one millimeter in diameter, called terminal bronchi—eventually, millions of tiny end-sacs direct air into the lungs’ air sacs. The primary function of the bronchi and bronchi is to transfer air from the trachea into the lungs.
The smooth muscle tissue in their walls helps regulate airflow in the lungs. When the body needs more air – such as when we exercise – the smooth muscle relaxes to dilate the bronchi and bronchi. The dilated airway provides less resistance to airflow and allows more air to enter and exit the respiratory tract. Smooth muscle fibers can contract at rest to prevent too much air from entering.
The bronchi use their mucous membranes and cilia of the epithelium to trap dust and other lungs’ impurities.
The lungs are a pair of large, spongy organs located in the chest near the heart and above the diaphragm. Each lung is surrounded by a pleural membrane that provides growth space, and a space of negative pressure relative to the body’s outside for this respiratory organ.
The negative pressure causes the lungs to fill with air when resting. The left and right lungs are slightly different in size and shape due to the heart’s location, which is inclined to the body’s left.
The left lung is slightly smaller than the right lung and consists of 2 lobes; While the right lung has three lobes. The lungs’ inner side is made up of spongy tissue that contains many capillaries and about 30 million small sacs, which are the same as air sacs.
Air sacs are cup-shaped structures found at the end of the terminal sacs and surrounded by capillaries. The air sacs are lined with thin, thin paving covering that allows the incoming air to exchange with the capillaries’ blood.
Several muscles around this respiratory organ help the lungs breathe in and out. The primary muscle of respiration in the human body is the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a thin plate of skeletal muscle that forms the floor of the chest.
As the diaphragm contracts, move a few inches into the abdominal cavity, expand the chest cavity space, and draw air into the lungs. Expansion of the diaphragm causes air to escape from the respiratory tract as you exhale.
Between the ribs, many small intercostal muscles help the diaphragm expand and compress the lungs. These muscles are divided into two groups:
- Internal rib muscles: The internal rib muscles are deeper muscles that compress the ribs and expel air from the respiratory tract to compress the chest cavity.
- External intercostal muscles: The intercostal muscles are found on the surface of the internal intercostal muscles and work to elevate the ribs, expand the chest cavity, and inhale air into the lungs.
How to breathe
Respiration in our body is divided into three different parts, which include the following:
Pulmonary ventilation is the process of transporting air in and out of the lungs to facilitate gas exchange. The human respiratory system uses both a negative pressure system and muscle contraction to achieve pulmonary ventilation.
Negative pressure in the respiratory system involves creating a negative pressure gradient between the air sacs and the ambient air. The pleural membrane completely protects these respiratory organs and keeps their pressure at rest at low pressure (below atmospheric pressure or outside air). This causes the air pressure to tilt and the respiratory tract to fill with air at rest.
As the lungs fill with air, the pressure inside the lungs increases until it matches the atmospheric pressure. At this stage, by contracting the diaphragm and the muscles between the external ribs, more air can be inhaled, which increases the volume of the chest and decreases the pressure of this respiratory organ again to atmospheric pressure. This process is called “inhalation.”
For “exhalation,” the air, diaphragm, and muscles expand between the external ribs; While the muscles contract between the internal ribs to reduce the chest volume and increase the pressure inside the chest cavity. The pressure gradient is now reversed, resulting in exhalation to equalize the respiratory tract pressures and outside the body. At this stage, the lungs’ elasticity causes them to return to their resting volume and restore the tail’s adverse pressure gradient.
External respiration is the exchange of gases between the air filling the air sacs and the capillaries’ blood around their walls. The air entering the respiratory tract from the outside environment has a higher partial pressure of oxygen and a lower partial pressure of carbon dioxide than the capillaries’ blood.
Differences in partial pressures cause gases to be transported along their pressure slope from top to bottom through the simple paving texture of airbags. The net result of external respiration is oxygen from the air into the blood and carbon dioxide movement from the air. In this case, the blood can carry oxygen to the body’s tissues; on the other hand, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere during exhalation.
Internal respiration is the exchange of gases between the blood in the capillaries and tissues of the body. Capillary blood has a higher partial pressure of oxygen and a lower partial pressure of carbon dioxide than the tissues it passes.
Differences in partial pressures lead to the release of gases along their pressure gradient from high to low pressure through the capillary lining. Internal respiration’s net result is the release of oxygen into the tissues and the release of carbon dioxide into the blood.
Transportation of gases
The two leading respiratory gases, oxygen and carbon dioxide, circulate through the blood throughout the body. Blood plasma can transfer some dissolved oxygen and carbon dioxide, But most of the gases carried in the blood attach to the transport molecules for transport.
Hemoglobin is a vital gas transport molecule found in red blood cells and carries approximately 99% of its oxygen. Hemoglobin can also carry small amounts of carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs.
However, most of the carbon dioxide is transported as a bicarbonate ion in the plasma. When the relative pressure of carbon dioxide in tissues is high, the carbonic enzyme anhydrase catalyzes a reaction between carbon dioxide and water to form carbonic acid.
Carbonic acid is then broken down into hydrogen ions and bicarbonate ions. When the relative pressure of carbon dioxide in the lungs is low, the reactions are reversed, and carbon dioxide is released in the lungs to be exhaled.
How does our body control breathing?
We never think about it to breathe; Because the mechanism of respiration is controlled by the autonomic nervous system or involuntary nervous system, which includes the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.
The parasympathetic system slows down our breathing rate, narrowing the bronchi and enlarging the pulmonary blood vessels, while the sympathetic system increases our respiration rate. This causes the bronchi and other airways to dilate and the pulmonary blood vessels to narrow.
** The brain controls the speed of breathing based on the needs and conditions of the body **
Our breathing changes depending on how active the body is and the condition of the air around it. For example, the body needs more breathing when doing physical activity. The body has sensors that send messages to the brain’s respiratory centers to detect its need to breathe.
Sensors in the airways detect lung stimuli. Sensors can stimulate sneezing or coughing.
In people with asthma, the sensors may cause the muscles around the lungs’ airways to contract. This makes the airways smaller. Sensors in the brain and near blood vessels detect the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in our blood. Sensors in the joints and muscles detect the arms or legs’ movement and adjust the respiration rate accordingly.
Respiratory system function
When it comes to the respiratory system, most people generally think about the lungs and breathing; breathing is only one of the respiratory system activities. The body’s cells need a constant oxygen supply to provide the metabolic processes needed to sustain life.
The respiratory system cooperates with the circulatory system to supply this oxygen and excrete metabolic wastes and regulate blood pH. In the following, we will examine the various functions of the respiratory system.
The primary function of the respiratory system is gas exchange. The cells of our body use oxygen and produce carbon dioxide as a by-product. Our bodies need a way to get more oxygen into the cells and remove carbon dioxide; The respiratory system provides this capability.
These respiratory organs carry oxygen to the blood, which is transported to the tissues. The tissues enter their carbon dioxide into the blood, which is expelled by the lungs during exhalation.
In humans and other mammals, the respiratory system is responsible for producing sounds such as those used for speech.
The upper respiratory tract structures, especially the larynx, play a role in producing sound and adjust the volume, pitch, and sharpness. Creating a sound is called phonetics.
The nose plays an essential role in respiration, But the olfactory nerves and the structures associated with them also play a role in the sense of smell. The sense of smell is also crucial in other living things; Especially in bait hunting, routing, and mating.
The cells of the respiratory system protect the body from the attack of pathogens through the nasal passages. They play an essential role in the immune system; Because the respiratory system is one of the body systems with intensive and frequent interaction with the external environment (such as the gastrointestinal tract).
Cells in the airways can secrete various antibodies, defensins, enzymes, and peptides, as well as small oxidative molecules that block the proliferation of pathogens.
** Respiratory system helps the immune system to prevent infection and fight pathogens **
Some of these epithelial cells also secrete mucus to trap larger dust particles. The respiratory system hosts a particular lymphatic tissue that can produce lymphocytes as the first line of defense.
Coughing and sneezing mechanisms to kill large amounts of bacteria or viruses trapped in the mucosa are other vital mechanisms used to fight infections.
Respiratory cells can help destroy pulmonary blood vessel clots. They can also activate some hormones or eliminate some substances in the blood and add some substances to the blood. Respiratory cells can heat and humidify the incoming air to protect the delicate cells of the internal airways.
Lung tissue cells produce surfactants that facilitate the process of inhaling and exhaling. Adequate production of surfactant by fetal lung cells is an essential precondition for neonatal survival in preterm labor.
How many times do we breathe in a minute?
Breathing speed varies based on many health factors and body activities. The average breathing rate of adults and children is also different. Respiratory rate per minute is the number of breaths and exhales that each person makes per minute, and along with blood pressure, pulse, and body temperature, it is one of the principal vital signs.
When a person breathes, oxygen enters the lungs and travels to the organs. When you exhale, carbon dioxide is released from the body.
The rate of natural respiration plays a vital role in maintaining the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. As mentioned above, the normal breathing range in adults is between 12 and 20 breaths per minute.
Average breathing rates may vary slightly from person to person. At this rate of respiration, carbon dioxide is expelled from the respiratory tract at the same rate as produced in the body’s cells. A respiratory rate below 12 or above 20 can mean abnormal breathing.
Limits of normal breathing in children
The average breathing rate of children per minute is as follows:
- Infants up to 1 year: 30 to 60 breaths per minute
- 1 to 3 years: 24 to 40 breaths per minute
- 3 to 6 years: 22 to 34 breaths per minute
- 6 to 12 years: 18 to 30 breaths per minute
- 12 to 18 years: 12 to 16 breaths per minute
How to measure breathing speed
it should be measured at rest. It should be noted that exercise or even walking in a room can affect a person’s breathing speed. Observe the rise and fall of a person’s chest to measure breathing rate accurately.
A full breath consists of one inhale and exhale; when the chest rises and then descends during a chest exhale, it should be considered a breath. To measure your breathing rate, count the number of breaths for a full minute or 30 seconds (multiply that number by two).
What does an abnormal breathing rate mean?
An area at the base of the brain controls respiration. The brain sends messages to the respiratory muscles. Breathing happens more automatically, which means you don’t have to think about it. Sometimes, the body has to adjust its breathing rate.
Brain receptors detect low oxygen or high carbon dioxide and send messages to the body to change the respiration rate. Abnormal breathing can indicate various conditions and diseases in the body. In some cases, excessive breathing is due to an activity such as exercise.
Various factors, including injury, exercise, emotional changes, mood, and a wide range of medical problems, affect a person’s breathing speed. In the epidemic of coronary heart disease, which affects the world today, an increase in the number of breaths is one of the signs of the disease’s acute symptoms.
Reasons for the high respiratory rate
Factors that increase the number of breaths per minute include:
- Anxiety: People may breathe faster when they are scared or anxious. Rapid breathing or excessive pulmonary ventilation is a common sign of panic attacks or anxiety. Rapid breathing usually resolves with anxiety.
- Fever: As the body temperature or fever rises, the rate of respiration may increase. In these conditions, increased respiration is the way the body tries to get rid of excessive heat.
- Respiratory diseases: Various lung diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) make it difficult to breathe, leading to an increased breathing rate.
- Heart problems: If the heart does not pump blood adequately to the body and does not deliver oxygen to the various organs, it may respond to the problem by breathing faster.
- Dehydration: When the body tries to get the cells’ energy, dehydration can increase the respiration rate.
Reasons for low respiratory rate
Factors that can reduce the number of breaths include the following:
- Overdose of some drugs: Overdose of some drugs, such as drugs, can reduce the brain’s respiratory pressure and lead to a decrease in the number of breaths.
- Obstructive sleep apnea: Sleep apnea, or respiratory failure, involves the obstruction of the airways, often due to the dilation of the soft tissues of the throat. This obstruction causes short pauses in breathing and may reduce the overall rate of respiration.
- Head Injuries: Head injuries can affect the brain involved in breathing, reducing the number of breaths.
Symptoms of respiratory diseases
Respiratory diseases may not have acute symptoms in the early stages, But you need to know what symptoms you should see a doctor if you see. Here are some common symptoms of a respiratory illness, each of which may be a sign of a respiratory illness:
Difficulty breathing: If you experience shortness of breath and shortness of breath during regular exercise, you should see your doctor have your lung function evaluated.
Chronic cough: If you cough for a month or more, it may be a sign of a respiratory illness that should be checked with specialized tests.
Noisy breathing: If your lungs make an abnormal sound when you breathe, you may have a blockage in a part of your respiratory system, which is a vital sign that many respiratory illnesses are starting.
Chronic chest pain: If you experience sudden and severe chest pain, you should see a doctor immediately; But sometimes the pain may be mild and long, lasting more than a month, and may worsen when you cough or take deep breaths. This can be a dangerous sign of lung disease.
Chronic mucus or sputum in the lungs: If you have a long-term feeling of sputum in the lungs with a cough, this can sign a respiratory infection and needs medical attention.
Blood in the cough: If you notice blood when you cough, this is a sign of dangerous lung disease that you should see a doctor right away.
Types of respiratory diseases
Injury, infection, or inflammation of the lungs or airways, or both, can lead to a variety of respiratory diseases. Here is a brief introduction to various diseases of the lungs and respiratory system:
Asthma: In this disease, the airways become narrow, and too much mucus blocks and inflames these airways.
Bronchitis: This disease occurs due to inflammation in the bronchi of the lungs. Bronchitis is often caused by viral, bacterial, and fungal infections, and in some cases, inhalation of chemical gases and cigarette smoke.
Emphysema: In these conditions, the pulmonary parenchyma’s tissue and the elasticity of the air sacs of the lungs are destroyed, and the air sacs are gradually destroyed, and the person becomes short of breath. Continuation of this disease, if left untreated, creates a severe condition for the patient.
Bronchiectasis: In this disease, inflammation, and infection cause the airways’ walls to thicken, and pulmonary secretions accumulate in them.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: This is a lung disease where the airways become blocked, and the lungs’ air sacs are damaged. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may develop bronchitis and emphysema.
Pneumonia: Pneumonia, pneumonia, or pneumonia involves a lung infection that causes inflammation in the air sacs. The cause of this disease may be a virus, bacteria, or some autoimmune diseases and reactions to certain drugs. ( Symptoms Of Pneumonia, Causes And Treatment Methods)
Tuberculosis: A bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) causes this dangerous infectious disease. Tuberculosis usually affects the lungs; But it can also affect the kidneys, spine, or brain. (Tuberculosis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, And Treatment)
Lung cancer: In all types of cancer, most of the body’s normal cells change, increase, and turn into tumors. Lung cancer occurs when the cells of the lungs and respiratory system are affected. This often happens due to smoking or exposure to other mutagenic chemicals.
Cystic Fibrosis: A mutation causes this disease in a gene on chromosome 7 in humans. In this disease, excessive mucus production blocks the airways, and the patient has respiratory problems.
Pleural effusion: In this condition, a lot of fluid collects between the lung tissue and the patient’s chest. This condition is called “dehydration of the lungs.” Under these conditions, this respiratory organ’s movement in the chest is disturbed, and normal breathing is difficult.
Pulmonary Fibrosis: In this condition, the tissue of this respiratory organ becomes fibrous; As the lung tissue and airways become thick, stiff, and sore, and respiratory function is impaired. This disease is progressive and chronic, and if left untreated, it is associated with the patient’s death.
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis: This is one of the most common pulmonary fibrosis in which the lung tissue becomes sore and unable to function correctly.
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome: In this condition, fluid from the blood vessels enters the air sacs in this respiratory organ, making it difficult to breathe. Less oxygen is delivered to the body. These patients often need a mechanical ventilator or ventilator. Mortality in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome is about 50 to 60%.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis: This type of respiratory disease is caused by inhaling specific allergens that irritate the tissue in this respiratory tract and air sacs.
Apnea or sleep apnea: People with this sleep disorder experience respiratory arrest. In this condition, which occurs due to airway obstruction, the blood oxygen level decreases, and the heart rhythm becomes irregular.
Exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollutants, or other chemicals can damage the airways, cause airway disease or aggravate lung disease.
Identification of lung and respiratory diseases
By performing tests, doctors can check how the respiratory system and lungs function and diagnose possible respiratory diseases. In this section, we will get acquainted with the types of tests of this respiratory organ and respiratory system:
- Spirometry: Measures the airflow in this respiratory organ and estimates the size of the lungs accordingly. To perform this test, you must regularly breathe several times with maximum lung power through a tube connected to a spirometer.
- Plethysmography or body box tests: One of the most accurate measuring volume methods in this respiratory tract and your available air, the procedure in plethysmography is similar to spirometry; The difference is that in this experiment, the patient is placed in a small room with transparent walls and inhales and exhales in a particular device. By measuring the air pressure changes inside this chamber, the person’s lungs’ volume is determined.
- Lung release capacity: This respiratory organ’s release capacity assesses how oxygen enters the bloodstream from your breath. For this test, breathe through a tube for a few minutes without the need for heavy breathing. Blood may be needed to measure hemoglobin levels in the blood.
- Pulse Oximeter: This test estimates the amount of oxygen in the blood. For this test, a probe is placed on a finger or on the surface of the skin, such as your ear, to show the level of oxygen in the blood.
- Arterial blood gas test: This test directly measures the volume of gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Arterial blood gas testing is usually done in a hospital but may also be done in a doctor’s office. For this test, blood is taken from an artery, usually used in the wrist to measure the pulse.
- Exhaust nitric oxide test: In this test, the volume of nitric oxide in the exhaled air is measured. For this test, the person must breathe into the tube of the device. Nitric oxide test detects inflammation in this respiratory organ.
- Lung mucus specimen culture: This test is done to check for any viral or bacterial infections in the respiratory system. The lung mucosa, a swab, is taken from a person’s mouth or throat.
- Chest radiograph: In this examination, images of the respiratory tract, airways, chest, and cardiovascular area are taken, which are examined by a specialist doctor to determine the size and location of the heart and pulmonary structures.
- Lung biopsy or biopsy: In this test, a piece of lung tissue is removed using a biopsy needle and examined for histopathology.
Ways to treat respiratory diseases
Respiratory diseases can have different treatments depending on the cause; however, any treatment plan’s essential step is to quit smoking and not smoking. Here are some standard therapies in the treatment of respiratory diseases:
- Medication: A variety of medications are used to treat and control lung disease symptoms, including bronchodilators or bronchodilators. This group of drugs is usually used as an inhaler, which expands the muscles around the airways and helps relieve shortness of breath and cough.
Inhaled and oral steroids are another group of drugs used to treat inflammation of the airways used in infectious lung diseases. Antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungal drugs are medications used to treat respiratory infections such as acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and the flu.
- Oxygen therapy: Patients who do not have enough oxygen in their blood are treated with oxygen.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation: This method provides training and exercise programs and nutritional counseling for the patient.
- Synthetic surfactant: This treatment is a type of medication that is often used to treat premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome.
- Lung volume reduction surgery: In this treatment, the doctor removes the damaged parts of the upper part of this respiratory organ, creating extra space in the chest to expand the healthy lung tissue, and the diaphragm works more efficiently.
What to do to have healthy lungs
Some behaviors and factors can be useful in maintaining lung health. Here are some of them:
- Avoid exposure to tobacco smoke: Smoking or smoking can have both short-term and long-term effects on the health of the respiratory system and respiratory system. These include cough, shortness of breath, asthma, and lung cancer.
- Control your weight: An unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity can lead to overweight and obesity, which in turn can lead to sleep apnea. Research has shown that weight loss accelerates the recovery process.
- Exercise: By exercising, you can help strengthen your heart and lungs so that they can function more efficiently. Physical activity may reduce the risk of lung injury or respiratory illness.
- Avoid exposure to polluted air: Before leaving home and doing physical activity outdoors, limit air pollution exposure if possible by checking the air quality index.
- Keep your home air clean: Reduce indoor air pollution by ensuring regular ventilation and cleaning your living and working indoor environment to prevent the accumulation of allergens, dust, and mildew. For this purpose, limit the use of cleaning products that produce gas; Such as healthy cleaning products and aerosol materials.
- Use a mask and protective equipment: Use protective equipment if you work in areas exposed to dust, silica, allergens, chemical vapors, or other airborne contaminants.
What foods to eat to have healthier lungs
Scientific research on respiratory health has shown that lifestyle modifications, including following a nutrient-rich diet, can help protect the respiratory system and reduce lung damage and its symptoms. Also, certain nutrients have been identified that have a beneficial effect on better respiratory function. Here are twenty examples of these foods:
- Types of nuts, especially walnuts and hazelnuts
- Beets and beet leaves
- Types of peppers, especially red peppers
- Green tea
- Green leafy vegetables
- Red cabbage
- Whole grains such as wheat, barley, and whole grain rice
- Chocolate, mostly dark chocolate
- Fish such as salmon and gypsy fish
- Olives and olive oil
To have a healthy respiratory system, in addition to maintaining a proper diet, you should avoid excessive consumption of certain foods. Foods that are harmful to the lungs include:
- Processed meats such as sausages
- High-sugar beverages, such as soft drinks
- Consume a lot of salt