About This Chapter
Who's it for?
Anyone who needs help learning or mastering human anatomy and physiology material will benefit from taking this course. There is no faster or easier way to learn human anatomy and physiology. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who have fallen behind in understanding ventilation or the respiratory system
- Students who struggle with learning disabilities or learning differences, including autism and ADHD
- Students who prefer multiple ways of learning science (visual or auditory)
- Students who have missed class time and need to catch up
- Students who need an efficient way to learn about the respiratory system
- Students who struggle to understand their teachers
- Students who attend schools without extra science learning resources
How it works:
- Find videos in our course that cover what you need to learn or review.
- Press play and watch the video lesson.
- Refer to the video transcripts to reinforce your learning.
- Test your understanding of each lesson with short quizzes.
- Verify you're ready by completing the Respiratory System chapter exam.
Why it works:
- Study Efficiently: Skip what you know, review what you don't.
- Retain What You Learn: Engaging animations and real-life examples make topics easy to grasp.
- Be Ready on Test Day: Use the Respiratory System chapter exam to be prepared.
- Get Extra Support: Ask our subject-matter experts any respiratory system question. They're here to help!
- Study With Flexibility: Watch videos on any web-ready device.
Students will review:
In this chapter, you'll learn the answer to questions including:
- What are the major anatomical structures of the airway and lungs?
- What are the functions of the pleural cavities and membranes?
- How do the ventilation muscles cause inspiration and expiration?
- How does the nature of the respiratory surface affect gas exchange?
- How does pulmonary surfactant decrease surface tension and facilitate ventilation?
- How do partial pressure gradients drive gas exchange across the respiratory membrane?
- What is the difference between internal and external respiration?
- How does hemoglobin transport oxygen in the blood?
- How does oxygen bind with hemoglobin?
- How do pH, metabolism and temperature affect hemoglobin and oxygen transport?
- What role does carbonic anhydrase play in transporting carbon dioxide in the blood?
- How does the autonomic nervous system regulate ventilation?
- How do pulmonary function tests work?
1. Gross Anatomy of the Airway and Lungs: Conducting & Respiratory Zones
The respiratory system includes the lungs as well as other organs that help to get oxygen into the blood and carbon dioxide out of the blood. The conducting zone of the respiratory system carries oxygen into the lungs and carbon dioxide out of the lungs. The respiratory zone is where oxygen and carbon dioxide move into and out of the blood.
2. Function of Pleural Cavities and Pleural Membranes
Each lung is contained within a pleural cavity, the space between the outside of the lung and inside of the chest wall. Pleural membranes cover the outside of the lungs and line the inside of the chest wall. The lungs remain expanded when we breathe due to a vacuum effect within the pleural cavity.
3. How Ventilation Muscles Cause Inspiration and Expiration
What is ventilation? It includes both inspiration and expiration, the movement of air into and out of our lungs. In this lesson, learn about how the diaphragm contracts and relaxes and its impact on lung volume.
4. The Respiratory Surface and Gas Exchange Efficiency
The respiratory membrane includes millions of alveoli with a surface area as large as a tennis court. This large respiratory surface area, combined with other factors, makes for efficient gas exchange to meet our metabolic needs.
5. Pulmonary Surfactant Function and Ventilation
Our lungs are lined with a thin layer of water. The water creates surface tension, which makes it difficult for the lungs to expand and allow for gas exchange. Pulmonary surfactant is made by our lungs and decreases the surface tension so we can breathe.
6. Gas Exchange: Diffusion & Partial Pressure Gradients
If you've ever experienced shortness of breath on top of a mountain, this lesson is for you. Oxygen and carbon dioxide move into and out of our blood by diffusion. The rate of diffusion is determined by partial pressure gradients across the respiratory membrane in our lungs. Partial pressure is a function of both concentration and atmospheric pressure.
7. External and Internal Respiration in the Lungs: Definition & Process
This lesson explores the process by which oxygen and carbon dioxide get into and out of the blood located in the lungs and in our metabolizing tissues. The partial pressure gradient for each gas determines both the direction and rate of diffusion across the respiratory membrane.
8. Gas Transport: Oxygen and Hemoglobin
Did you know that almost all of the oxygen transported in our blood is bound to hemoglobin? Hemoglobin is loaded with oxygen in the lungs and unloaded of oxygen in the metabolizing tissues. This lesson will describe how oxygen is transported in our blood.
9. Gas Transport: Cooperative Binding of Oxygen with Hemoglobin
Our cells need oxygen. Most of the oxygen is delivered to our cells bound to hemoglobin. This lesson describes how cooperative binding of hemoglobin maximizes oxygen delivery to our metabolizing tissues.
10. Gas Transport: Effect of Temperature, pH & Metabolism
Hemoglobin carries almost all the oxygen to our metabolizing tissues. This lesson discusses physiological factors that stimulate hemoglobin to unload oxygen in our tissues. For example, temperature, carbon dioxide, pH and metabolism all influence the affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen.
11. Carbon Dioxide Transport in the Blood
While carbon dioxide is a metabolic waste product, it plays some important physiological roles as well. This lesson describes how carbon dioxide is transported in our blood, how carbon dioxide is converted into a pH buffer, and how carbon dioxide helps with oxygen transport.
12. Autonomic Breathing: How Ventilation is Regulated
Did you know that our nervous system controls our breathing? This lesson describes the basic elements of the homeostatic system responsible for balancing oxygen supply with metabolic demand.
13. What Are Pulmonary Function Tests?
Pulmonary function tests are used to measure air movement into and out of the lungs. Spirometry is the most common way to measure airflow. This lesson will describe the use of spirometry to measure lung volumes and flow rates as well as how breathing disorders are diagnosed.
14. Airway Resistance: Definition, Formula & Issues
In this lesson, you'll discover what airway resistance means and learn two different ways of calculating it. You'll also uncover issues with calculating a true airway resistance.
15. Bronchioles: Definition & Function
The trachea, commonly known as the 'windpipe,' branches off to allow air to go into each of our two lungs. Once there, the branching doesn't stop. Progressively smaller tubes called bronchioles ensure that air reaches all different parts of the lungs.
16. Endothelial Cells: Function & Explanation
Endothelial cells account for about 1 kilogram of an adult human body, which is on par with the liver. They line the inside of all blood vessels - from large arteries to tiny capillaries. This lesson covers their basic functions, as well as more specialized ones, like keeping bacteria out of our brain.
17. Heme Group: Hemoglobin & Definition
You've probably heard that something described as 'blood red.' But why, exactly, is blood red? The answer to this questions lies with a molecule called hemoglobin. In this lesson, we'll explore what hemoglobin is, how it works, and the role it plays in making horror movies so visually appealing.
18. Trachea: Function, Meaning & System
This lesson will describe the function and basic anatomy of your trachea, which is an important structure within your respiratory system. A post-lesson quiz will test what you have learned.
19. Bradypnea: Definition, Causes & Symptoms
What are normal versus slow respiratory rates? Learn to identify bradypnea and learn what causes the respiratory rate to decrease. Recognize available treatment of bradypnea, and take a quiz to test your knowledge.
20. Cor Pulmonale: Definition, Symptoms & Treatment
Cor pulmonale is also known as right-sided heart failure because the right ventricle becomes enlarged and eventually stops working. Read this lesson to learn what causes cor pulmonale, the resulting symptoms, and possible treatment options.
21. Cyanosis: Definition, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Cyanosis causes the body to develop a bluish tint to it, due to inadequate oxygen in the bloodstream. It can affect the entire body or be limited to certain areas. Watch this lesson to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
22. Hemoptysis: Definition, Causes & Treatment
Hemoptysis is a medical condition in which a person coughs up blood. It can be due to a minor infection or a life-threatening medical emergency. Complete this lesson to learn about causes, symptoms, and treatment options.
23. Hemothorax: Definition, Symptoms & Treatment
A hemothorax is a condition where blood pools in between the wall of the chest and the lung. In this lesson, you'll learn what causes a hemothorax, what the symptoms are, and what methods are used to treat the condition.
24. Hypercapnia: Definition, Symptoms & Treatment
Hypercapnia is when excessive carbon dioxide collects in the blood stream. Check out this lesson to learn about why this happens, what causes it, what the symptoms are, and what the possible treatment options are for this condition.
25. Orthopnea: Definition, Causes & Symptoms
Sometimes patients can exhibit subtle symptoms of potentially big problems. In this lesson you will learn about a condition called orthopnea, which can occur with patients who are experiencing difficulty breathing only while lying in a flat position. While orthopnea may seem minor, it might indicate a serious problem.
26. Rhonchi Lung Sounds: Definition, Causes & Treatment
The lungs can produce an abnormal noise called rhonchi. Learn about its distinct sound and the conditions that cause it. Then learn how each condition is treated to stop rhonchi.
27. Stridor Breath Sounds: Definition, Causes & Treatment
From this lesson, you will learn about an abnormal sound that a person can produce when breathing. The reasons such sounds occur in children are different as compared to adults. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of the problems.
28. Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URI): Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) are one of the most common conditions seen by primary care providers. Learn more about the causes, signs and symptoms, and the treatment of this common condition. Complete a quiz to evaluate your understanding.
29. What Is a Cannula? - Definition & Placement
In this lesson, we will identify and describe two types of cannulas: nasal and intravenous. We will also examine how providers place these types of cannulas into the patient's body.
30. What Is Acrocyanosis? - Definition, Causes & Symptoms
Acrocyanosis is a rare condition where blood does not receive enough oxygen and causes the extremities to turn a bluish color. Read this lesson to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and possible treatment options for this peculiar condition!
31. What Is Albuterol? - Uses & Side Effects
Albuterol has been used in the treatment of asthma and other respiratory conditions since 1980. Read about its action, how it helps prevent respiratory distress, and possible side effects.
32. What Is ARDS? - Definition, Symptoms, Criteria & Treatment
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is often a condition that results from another illness or trauma. Read this lesson to learn about ARDS, what the symptoms are, how it's treated, and the likely aftermath of experiencing ARDS.
33. What Is Asphyxia? - Definition, Causes & Symptoms
Asphyxia is a condition where the body doesn't get enough oxygen. If left untreated, it can cause coma or death. This lesson will discuss the different causes and symptoms associated with asphyxia.
34. What Is Bronchiectasis? - Definition, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Bronchiectasis is a lung disorder where the airways are permanently over-stretched due to mucus buildup. Read this lesson to learn what causes this condition, as well as what the symptoms and treatment options are.
35. What Is Bronchitis? - Definition, Symptoms & Treatment
In the following lesson you will learn about types of bronchitis and how this condition effects breathing. You will learn the best ways to treat bronchitis as well as when to be concerned about a cough.
36. What Is Bronchoscopy? - Definition, Anatomy & Complications
In this lesson, we will learn about a procedure known as bronchoscopy. We will explore how this procedure helps diagnose conditions, treat conditions, and retrieve objects stuck in the respiratory tract. Potential complications will also be covered.
37. What Is Croup? - Definition, Symptoms & Treatment
From this lesson, you will learn about a respiratory condition called croup that mainly occurs in children. Eventually, you will know the distinct characteristics of croup and how it is treated based on its severity.
38. What Is Emphysema? - Definition, Causes Symptoms & Treatment
In this lesson, we will learn about emphysema, which is the most common respiratory disease. We will learn about the symptoms and causes of emphysema and the many different treatment options available.
39. What Is Empyema? - Definition, Causes & Treatment
Infections affect the body in many different ways. In this lesson, we will define empyema and discuss its causes and treatment. Like many infections, treatment options must be addressed.
40. What Is Hyperventilation? - Definition, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Have you ever suddenly started breathing very fast and been unable to catch your breath? Why does this happen? Read this lesson to find out the causes of hyperventilation, the symptoms, and how to treat it!
41. What Is Hypoventilation? - Definition, Causes & Symptoms
Hypoventilation is a breathing disorder that can potentially be very serious. Continue reading to learn more about hypoventilation, including the definition, causes and symptoms.
42. What Is Hypoxemia? - Definition, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
This lesson will define what hypoxemia is, the symptoms associated with it, and potential causes. Additionally, we will discuss the treatments for this life-threatening disorder.
43. What Is Hypoxia? - Definition, Types, Symptoms & Causes
Understanding basic medical terminology is important for both patients and students. In this lesson, you'll learn about hypoxia, a common term used throughout the medical field in relation to a variety of diagnoses.
44. What Is Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS)? - Long-Term Effects & Treatment
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS) is a potentially serious medical condition that affects newborn infants. Learn more about MAS, its long-term effects and treatment.
45. What Is Pleural Effusion? - Definition, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
A pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluids in the space between the chest wall and the lungs. Read this lesson to learn why this might happen, what the symptoms are if it does, and how the condition is treated.
46. What Is Pleurisy? - Definition, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
What is pleurisy? Well, it's a condition that affects the lining of the lungs, and it can make breathing extremely painful and difficult. Read this lesson to learn what causes pleurisy, what the symptoms are, and how it's treated.
47. What Is Pneumonia? - Definition, Types, Symptoms & Treatment
Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that can affect anyone. Read this lesson to learn more about the different types of pneumonia, the symptoms associated with each, and how the infection is treated.
48. What Is Postural Drainage? - Definition, Therapy Techniques & Positions
This lesson will introduce you to the concept of postural drainage. It will also familiarize you with the techniques and positions established to effectively use this therapy. A short quiz follows the lesson.
49. What Is Pulmonary Edema? - Definition, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Pulmonary edema severely impacts the lives of those suffering from it. This lesson will define pulmonary edema, what causes it, symptoms, and how to treat it to assist in your understanding of pulmonary edema.
50. What Is Sputum? - Definition, Culture & Types
In this lesson we will first discover what sputum is. We will then discuss how and why sputum is cultured, go over the different types of cultures and learn how to utilize the results of the culture.
51. What Is Tachypnea? - Definition, Causes & Treatment
Tachypnea is a condition that causes rapid and shallow breathing due to an imbalance between carbon dioxide and oxygen in the body. In this lesson, learn why it happens and what the symptoms are.
52. What Is Thoracentesis? - Definition, Procedure & Complications
The human body needs fluid to survive, but there is such thing as too much of a good thing. In such cases, excess fluid has to be removed, and one method of doing so is a process called thoracentesis. Read this lesson to learn more!
53. Wheeze: Definition & Causes
Learn about the respiratory symptom called a wheeze. Know how it sounds in the lungs and about the conditions that cause it; the five I's- inflammation, irritation, infection, injury, and illness, and then test your knowledge with a quiz.
54. Examples of Homeostatic Control Mechanisms
Why do people sweat when they run? What do your kidneys really do? This lesson answers those questions through an investigation into homeostatic control mechanisms. A brief summary and quiz are included.
55. Microvilli vs. Cilia: Structure & Size
Even though microvilli and cilia may appear similar at first glance, they are very different. This lesson discusses the similarities and many differences between these two microscopic cellular structures.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the Human Anatomy & Physiology: Help and Review course
- Inorganic Chemistry in Anatomy and Physiology: Help and Review
- Organic Molecules in Anatomy and Physiology: Help and Review
- Biochemistry in Anatomy and Physiology: Help and Review
- Basic Anatomy and Cell Biology: Help and Review
- Cardiovascular System: Help and Review
- Blood Vessels: Help and Review
- Digestive System: Help and Review
- Urinary System: Help and Review
- Endocrine System: Help and Review
- The Brain: Help and Review
- The Nervous System at the Cellular Level: Help and Review
- The Five Senses: Help and Review
- Muscular System: Help and Review
- Gross Anatomy of Muscular System: Help and Review
- Connective Tissue: Help and Review
- Skeletal System: Help and Review
- Anatomy and Physiology of Male and Female Reproductive Systems: Help and Review
- Early Development to Childbirth: Help and Review
- Overview of Nerves & Senses