Do you know what takes up most of the room inside your chest? Your lungs do, of course!
The lungs look like shiny, smooth sponges. When you are young, your lungs are pink. As you age, lungs change to a darker color, usually gray or black. This occurs because of a lifetime of dust and dirt.
Smokers have the most noticeable color change of all. Eskimos, who have not smoked and who have not lived in a dust-filled environment, often have pink lungs even when they are elderly.
City dwellers, too, have more noticeable changes than those who live in the country.
People have two lungs that are cone-shaped with a thin upper tip, called an apex, and a wide base. The heart and main blood vessels sit between the lungs.
The left lung has two main parts, or lobes. The right lung has three main lobes. The left lung is smaller than the right lung so the heart has room to sit.
Together, the lungs weigh about two and a half pounds. A man's two lungs can hold about 6.4 quarts of air. A woman's lungs can hold about 4.5 quarts of air.
The base of the lungs sits on a diaphragm, which is really a large domed sheet of muscle. The diaphragm separates the lungs and heart from the organs in the abdomen. The cage of ribs, the breastbone, and the backbone protect the lungs.
The cage is sturdy, but it is flexible enough to allow for breathing. The slippery, shiny, thin sheet, called the pleural membrane covers each lung, to keep it lubricated for the movements of breathing, covers each lung.
Inside the lungs, there are six main components: alveoli, supporting tissue, bronchial tree, nerves, and two networks of blood vessels. These features support the function of getting oxygen to every cell in the body.
There are 300 to 400 million alveoli, which are the air bubbles where oxygen passes from the air into the blood. The supporting tissue fills the gaps between the structures. The bronchial tree is the system of air tubes from the bronchus to the alveoli.
The branching system of nerves picks up any pain and controls the muscles in the walls of the airways and arteries. Finally, the two networks of blood vessels bring the deoxygenated blood from the heart into the lungs and take the oxygenated blood from the lungs back to the heart and to the rest of the body.
1. When you are young, your lungs are _________________. Black Gray Pink
A typical man's lungs can hold more air than the typical woman's lungs. False True
The base of the lungs sits on the _______________, which is really a large domed sheet of muscle. Ribs Diaphragm Backbone Breastbone
4. What's another name for the air bubbles in the lungs? Nerves Alveoli Bronchi
Which component of the lungs picks up the sensation of pain? Alveoli Bronchi Nerves
Out of the three choices listed below, who should have the pinkest lungs? Smoker City-dweller Farmhand
What separates the lungs and heart from the organs in the abdomen? Diaphragm Breastbone Bronchus
Which statement is not true? The human body has two lungs Blood vessels bring deoxygenated blood from the heart into the lungs. There are 300 to 400 million alveoli in your lungs. Together, the lungs weigh about 6.4 pounds.