Lung Health

How Your Lungs Work

When you breathe, you take air in through your nose or mouth. The air passes through the throat and trachea (windpipe) and goes into the lungs. The lungs are made up of a branching system of air passages called bronchial tubes.

The bronchial tubes are wrapped by bands of muscle. The lining of the bronchial tubes produces a sticky substance called mucus, which helps the lungs get rid of any irritating particles that you breathe in.

The deeper they are in the lungs, the smaller bronchial tubes become. The smallest tubes are called bronchioles. The bronchioles end in balloon-like sacs called alveoli. Alveoli absorb oxygen into the bloodstream. They also absorb carbon dioxide from the bloodstream and pass it back into the bronchioles to be breathed out.

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