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The respiratory system is a biological system consisting of specific organs and structures used for gas exchange in animals and plants. In humans and other mammals, the anatomy of a typical respiratory system is the respiratory tract. The tract is divided into an upper and a lower respiratory tract. The upper tract includes the nose, nasal cavities, sinuses, pharynx and the part of the larynx above the vocal folds. The lower tract includes the lower part of the larynx, the trachea, bronchi, bronchioles and the alveoli.
Respiratory disease is a medical term that encompasses pathological conditions affecting the organs and tissues that make gas exchange possible. The diseases can range from mild and self-limiting, such as common cold and allergic rhinitis, to life-threatening entities like bacterial pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, acute asthma and lung cancer. Environmental factors such as pollutants and pollens, virus and bacteria etc. can lead to respiratory diseases such as allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the respiratory system and what is the components?

A: The respiratory system is the system in the human body that enables us to breathe. The act of breathing includes: inhaling and exhaling air in the body; the absorption of oxygen from the air in order to produce energy; the discharge of carbon dioxide, which is the byproduct of the process.


In the human body, respiratory system can be divided into the following 3 parts:


  • Respiratory tract

    • Upper respiratory tract: nose, pharynx, and the larynx

    • Lower respiratory tract: Trachea, the bronchi and broncheoli

  • Lungs (the act of breathing takes place in this part of the system)

  • Respiratory muscles

    • Diaphragm

    • Intercostal muscles

Q: What are the most common respiratory diseases?

A: Many different kinds of respiratory diseases interfere with breathing. There are respiratory diseases which affect the nasal area, throat, windpipe and the lungs. These types of respiratory diseases include:​​​

  • Colds

  • Influenza

  • Allergic Rhinitis

There are more serious respiratory diseases. These include:

  • Asthma

  • Tuberculosis

  • Cystic Fibrosis

  • Obstructive lung disease

  • Pulmonary vascular disease

Q: How to prevent respiratory diseases?


  • Stop Smoking - Smoking can be a major cause of respiratory disease. Those who are exposed to second-hand smoke can also suffer.


  • Get Plenty of Rest - Similarly how a person should get plenty of rest when suffering from a cold or flu, a person who is likely to suffer from respiratory disease should also get lots of rest. This can help your immune system battle against any bacteria or diseases in your body, preventing respiratory disease.


  • Avoid Stress - Avoiding stress can significantly improve your overall health

  • Protect yourself from air pollutants, virus, bacteria, and allergens

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