The Anatomy and Physiology of the Respiratory System

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In the nasal cavity, there are three little bumps. Now those three little lumps are called the superior, middle, and inferior meatuses. If you remember back to API when you studied the skull and you looked inside of the nasal cavity, there were three little bones on the left and right of the perpendicular plate of ethmoid. And those were the superior, middle, and inferior conchae. So those little lumps you're looking at are the conchae that you learned about before, but they're just covered with tissue. So in this instance, we're calling them meatuses. And the job of those meatuses is to almost act as though they're speed bumps. So as soon as you sucked the air in through our nostrils, the air will get caught around the meatuses. It slows…show more content…
As soon as you swallow, this little epiglottis flops down and blocks the windpipe and the larynx. It closes it off like the lid of a trash can so that food has only one choice and that is to go down the esophagus. Now the opposite is true when we're not eating or we're not swallowing, and we're trying to breathe, the epiglottis opens up and this will allow air to pass into our respiratory tract. Now whenever food does get into our respiratory tract, sometimes if we're eating too fast and we're not giving ourselves time to swallow, then food can get lodged down in the larynx or trachea and what happens usually is we begin to cough. Coughing is basically just pushing a big puff of air through the respiratory tract, which will hopefully pop out or dislodge that food particle. This is the opening to the larynx and down into the trachea and this little opening is called the glottis, also known as our vocal cords. Whenever we breathe, our glottis opens up. Whenever we talk, we’re actually pushing air out or up through our glottis. And when these vocal folds tighten and get close together, we can make high pitch sounds. When we open up and relax, we can make deep, low pitch sounds. So whenever we talk, we're just pushing air through those vocal folds and the vocal folds are vibrating and that's what causes our voice. So muscles of the neck and pharynx will position and stabilize the larynx. When you swallow, these muscles will elevate the larynx and bend the
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