How is human respiratory system efficient
Human respiratory system is efficient because of these reasons:
First, distance between red blood cells and the air is short. Before the oxygen gets into the bloodstream, it goes into small air pockets in the lungs called the Alveoli. By passing through the inner walls of the Alveoli, the oxygen can then be carried around the body by red blood cells in the bloodstream. To shorten the distance of oxygen going into the bloodstream, the inner walls of the Alveoli is extremely thin, reducing time taken.
Second, the Inner walls of the Alveoli has a large surface area. By having a large surface area, the Alveoli can handle more oxygen because there are more space for oxygen to get through. This makes lungs more efficient because now more oxygen can go into bloodstream with the same amount of time. So it becomes time efficient.
Third reason is that humans have two lungs instead of one. Two lungs means that the efficiency of taking in oxygen is doubled, hence it becomes efficient
Just like the third reason, the forth reason would be multiple Alveoli. Efficiency of an alveoli passing oxygen to the red blood cells are multiplied by the number of alveolies.
Respiratory system complete en.svg
Respiratory system complete en.svg
this picture represents the respiratory system, and showing parts such as the two lungs, and the Alveoli. In the diagram of the Alveoli in the top right corner, it is shown that the alveoli is covered with capillary, making it much more efficient and faster when passing on oxygen into the blood stream.
picture citation:
Wikipedia contributors. "Respiratory system." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 18 Feb. 2012. Web. 19 Feb. 2012.

  • Moist: in order for the alveoli to function correctly it has to stay moist. A substance called surfactant is used by special cells in the alveoli that reduce the surface tension of water which helps the alveoli to stay moist and prevents them from sticking to each other when the person breathes out. The Nasal Cavity also needs to stay moist and this is managed by mucous secretions.

  • Thin: The walls of alveoli and bronchiole are very thin which allows air exchange to be fast.

  • Passive: The exhalation process is a passive process because it does not allow muscle contraction. The action of breathing out is usually passive except when exercise is involved as it increases the breathing rate.
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  • SA: SA stands for Sleeping Apnea were a person has one or more pauses while breathing. The pauses can be a short as 5 seconds but can also be minutes. They can occur more than a hundred times per night. Sleeping Apnea can be seen if someone has very loud snoring. Sleeping Apnea can cause one to have a very bad sleep.

Here is a YouTube video by healthmaestro outlining the causes and consequences of Sleep Apnea:

Types of Sleeping Apnea:
Obstructive Sleeping Apnea
When the soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes during sleep, blocking the airway and causes snoring. This is the most common type of Sleep Apnea. (Sleep Apnea: Symptoms)
Central Sleeping Apnea

Different to obstructive Sleeping Apnea, this type of sleeping apnea happens when the nervous system (respiratory center) fails to control the breathing muscles in the sleep. People who have this type of sleeping Apnea rarely snore.(Sleep Apnea: Symptoms)

Complex Sleeping Apnea

A combination of both types of Sleeping apnea mentioned above.(Sleep Apnea: Symptoms)

How does human respiratory system keep itself clean

1) Cilia, tiny hair located at the inner walls of the entrance of the nose, filters out any impurities when we breathe in the air.
2) Mucus in the nose traps any bacteria and dusts by surrounding and solidifying on them. This is later disposed out of the body, or swallowed and dumped into stomach, where strong acids will remove it.
3) Any impure substances are prevented going into the lungs because the lung is so sensitive that we automatically ‘cough’ to get the substance out.

This is a video which clearly explains the Function of Cilia and Goblet Cells:

Respiratory System Disease.

If the respiratory system does not function as they are meant to, or does not clean itself, it causes infections in which developing into serious diseases. These diseases are mostly related with their breathing exercise, which it becomes restricted and warning that their lives may not be long. However, common respiratory diseases can be treated easily and this means diseases such as:

  • Asthma - where there are restriction of hypersensitive airways
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) - caused by lack of ability to clean the alveoli, where short breath interferes with living
  • Chronic Bronchitis - An inflammation in bronchial tubes, causing the swell up of the bronchioles
  • Emphysema - Damage of air sec walls, which clauses the loss of elasticity and transport of oxygen through blood vessels
  • Pleurisy - An inflammation of the pleural membrane, which connects the lungs and the cavity
  • Lung Cancer - A tumor developing inside the lung tissue, causing problems with lack of interaction with oxygen, breathing
  • Acute Bronchitis - Similar to Chronic Bronchitis, it is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes
  • Pneumonia - Infection of the lungs caused by a virus or a bacteria, interrupting with the acceptance of oxygen
  • Sinusitis - Inflammation of sinus cavities

This is a photograph of how the area of gas exchange decreases, as the alveoli wall get destroyed by "emphysema".

"Respiratory System Disease." Respiratory Supplies. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Mar. 2012.



Admin. "Lung Diseases." Allied Health World Blog. N.p., 16 Feb. 2011. Web. 3 Mar. 2012.

Works Cited:

CSTSGLOBAL. Functions of Cilia and Goblet Cells . You Tube. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2012. < watch?v=miEEluVlemQ&feature=player_embedded>.

Healthmaestro. Sleep Apnea. YouTube. YouTube, 17 Mar. 2008. Web. 25 Feb. 2012.
"Sleep Apnea: Symptoms, Treatments, Causes, and Cures." Helpguide Helps You Help Yourself to Better Mental and Emotional Health. Web. 19 Feb. 2012. <>.

"THE RESPIRATORY SYSTEM." Leaving Bio. Web. <>.