What do the lungs look like and how do they work? See how the lungs exchange oxygen with carbon dioxide in the respiratory process.
- As you breathe, oxygen is taken in and carbon dioxide is pushed out - via the lungs.
- Air travels to the lungs through the trachea, which splits into two bronchi, each with smaller branches of bronchioles.
- The bronchioles lead to tiny air sacs, alveoli, where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs.
- Capillaries allow oxygen to enter the bloodstream and travel around the body.
When you breathe oxygen is taken in and carbon dioxide is pushed out.
This takes place in the body’s largest internal organ.
You take in air through the nose and mouth, down the trachea towards two tubes.
These are bronchi.
Each bronchus leads to a lung.
As you go deeper the tubes get smaller like branches on a tree.
Smaller tubes are called bronchioles.
Finally, the air reaches tiny air sacs that expand and deflate and look like broccoli.
This is where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged.
Alveoli are surrounded by tiny blood vessels called capillaries.
The walls between capillaries and alveoli are only one cell thick.
Oxygen passes from the alveoli into the capillaries and around the body in the blood vessels.
Meanwhile, carbon dioxide moves from the blood in the opposite direction through the capillaries into the alveoli.
As we breathe out, the carbon dioxide starts its journey through the bronchioles, one of the two bronchi, and the trachea.
And that’s what happens when you breathe in and out.