Facebook Twitter instagram Youtube

How do your Lungs Function?

Understanding how your lungs work is a fantastic place to start if you want to take better care of them. Please get in touch with your doctor for more help and information.


Your whole body depends on the oxygen in the air you breathe to survive. The delicate anatomy of the lungs is responsible for carrying out the challenging tasks of breathing and delivering oxygen throughout the body. In addition, it aids in defending the body against outside harm.


Our lungs function most of the time without our awareness, but they can be harmed in a variety of ways and lose their ability to efficiently absorb oxygen from the air and expel waste carbon dioxide.


We breathe around 22,000 times every day. The ability of our lungs and breath to work is essential to human health. After all, breathing is a representation of life.


Importance of lungs:


Your body's cells require oxygen to survive. Oxygen and other gases are present in the air we breathe. The primary function of the respiratory system is to introduce new air into your body while expelling waste gases.


After entering the lungs, oxygen travels through your body's bloodstream. The waste gas carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen at each cell in your body. Your bloodstream then carries this waste gas back to your lungs, where it is discharged after having been removed from circulation. Gas exchange, a crucial activity carried out naturally by your lungs and respiratory system, is a fundamental life function.


Your respiratory system conducts additional crucial breathing-related tasks in addition to gas exchange. These consist of:

  • Increasing the air's temperature and humidity to values that are suitable for human physiology.
  • Defending your body from damaging toxins. Coughing, sneezing, filtering, or ingesting them accomplishes this.
  • Supporting the smell sense




Behind the ribs and on either side of the heart, in the chest, are the lungs. They have a roughly conical shape, with a flat base where they connect to the diaphragm and a rounded tip at their apex.


The lungs are a pair, although they are not identical in size and form. The right lung is shorter to make room for the liver below, but the left lung includes an indentation called the cardiac notch that borders the area where the heart lives. Overall, the weight and capacity of the left lung are somewhat less than those of the right.


The lungs are encircled by two membranes termed the pleura. The outer layer is attached to the inner wall of the rib cage, while the inner layer immediately lines the outer surface of the lungs. Pleural fluid, which is present in the gap between the membranes, keeps the pleura wet and lessens friction during breathing.




The primary function of the lungs is to take in air from the atmosphere and transport oxygen into the blood. It then spreads to the rest of the body from there.


The supporting structures of the body must help the organs breathe properly. We employ the diaphragm muscle, intercostal muscles between the ribs, abdominal muscles, and occasionally even neck muscles to breathe.


The muscle known as the diaphragm is located underneath the lungs and has a domed top. It drives the majority of the labour involved in breathing. When it contracts, it moves lower, making the chest cavity larger and improving the lungs' capacity to expand.


As the volume increases, the pressure inside the chest cavity drops, enabling air to return to the lungs through the mouth or nose.


The capacity of the lungs reduces when the diaphragm returns to its resting position and relaxes, increasing the pressure within the chest cavity and causing the lungs to release air. The lungs work like bellows, expanding and sucking in air to provide oxygen. During exhalation, exchanged carbon dioxide waste is pushed out when they compress.


Air passes down the trachea, commonly referred to as the windpipe, after entering the nose or mouth. It then gets to a part known as the carina. At the carina, the windpipe splits in half, resulting in two mainstem bronchi. One is to the right, the other to the left.


The pipe-like bronchi are then divided into smaller bronchi and then even smaller bronchioles, much like tree branches do. The tiny air sacs known as alveoli are where this plumbing, which keeps becoming smaller, finally comes to an end. Gas exchange takes place here.

Medanta Medical Team
Back to top