Part 5: How to maintain a healthy respiratory system

Translation of page 159, English in Medicine

The respiratory system plays an active role in keeping us healthy. Beginning at the very beginning, the upper respiratory tract respiratory system filters airborne particles such as dust, bacteria, and viruses. Viruses, bacteria and aerosols are captured in the cilia of the nasal cavity and the mucus of the epithelial layer of the upper respiratory tract, and therefore should be prevented from entering the body and making us sick . What happens to mucus that has viruses and bacteria? We spit out, exhale, or swallow this mucus.

While nasal hair and upper respiratory mucus capture most of the particles, some of the rest still make their way through this barrier. However, they can still be captured by cilia located along the trachea. The cilia are microscopic hair-like structures that attach to the cells lining the trachea. This area also has a mucous membrane to produce mucus. Mucus catches particles and cilia pushes them up the throat to be swallowed or spit out.

How to maintain a healthy respiratory system page 159, English in Medicine
How to maintain a healthy respiratory system page 159, English in Medicine

Inside the lungs, there are 2 ways to help us protect our health. The first are special cells in the alveoli, which can feed on dust, bacteria, viruses, and other particles that have passed through previous barriers. Those cells are called alveolar macrophages. Macro means big phag- means eat. These “healthy eaters” roam freely around the inside of each alveoli and feed on any particles that have escaped the previous filtration layers.

Second, our respiratory system is healthy because our lungs are capable of heating and humidifying the air we breathe. Near the smallest bronchioles and alveoli in the lungs is an extensive network of capillaries, which themselves warm and humidify the air. As air passes through this part of the lungs, it is warmed and moistened. This prevents the lungs from drying out and makes gas exchange easier.


The respiratory system is susceptible to bacterial and viral infections from the air. And the name of the infection is often related to its location (where it occurs): bronchitis, sinusitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, pneumonia (pneumo-meaning lung). Flu and cold are the most common respiratory infections. Although many characteristics of the two infections have similarities, they are different. Although both are caused by a virus, the virus is different. Since they are viral infections, antibiotics will not help with this type of infection.

(medical english drDuy) Japanese King Translator

See more articles at:

>>Fanpage: Medical English – Medical English – DR.DUY


Leave a Reply