The upper respiratory system, or top respiratory tract, consists of the nose and nasal cavity, the pharynx, and the larynx. This structures allow us come breathe and speak. Castle warm and clean the air we inhale: mucous membrane lining top respiratory structures trap some foreign particles, including smoke and other pollutants, before the wait travels under to the lungs.

You are watching: Air is filtered warmed and moistened in the

1. The Nose and Nasal Cavities administer Airways because that Respiration


The sleep cavities space chambers the the inner nose. In front, the nostrils, or nares, produce openings come the outside world. Waiting is inhaled through the nostrils and also warmed together it moves additional into the nasal cavities. Scroll-shaped bones, the nasal conchae, protrude and kind spaces with which the wait passes. The conchae swirl the air around to permit the waiting time to humidify, warm, and be cleaned before it start the lungs. Epithelial cilia (commonly dubbed “nose hair”) and also a mucous membrane line the within of the cavities. The cilia, together with mucus produced by seromucous and other glands in the membrane, trap undesirable particles. Ultimately the filtered, warmed wait passes the end of the back of the sleep cavities right into the nasopharynx, the uppermost part of the pharynx.

2. The Paranasal Sinuses Surround the sleep Cavities


The paranasal sinuses are 4 paired, air-filled cavities uncovered inside skeleton of the skull. These sinuses are named for the skull bones the contain them: frontal, ethmoidal, sphenoidal, and also maxillary. Mucosae heat the paranasal sinuses and aid to warm and humidify the air we inhale. As soon as air beginning the sinuses native the sleep cavities, mucus developed by the muscosae drains into the nasal cavities.

3. The Pharynx connect the Nasal and Oral caries to the Larynx and also Esophagus


The pharynx, or throat, is shaped choose a funnel. Throughout respiration, the conducts air in between the larynx and trachea (or “windpipe”) and the nasal and the oral cavities. The pharynx has three regions: The nasopharynx is posterior come the sleep cavity and also serves only as a passageway because that air. The oropharynx lies posterior to the dental cavity and also contains the palatine tonsils. Both air and also ingested food pass with the oropharynx and through the laryngopharynx below. The laryngopharynx lies posterior come the epiglottis and also connects come the larynx (superiorly) and the esophagus (inferiorly). Together we breathe, the epiglottis stays up and also air passes freely between the laryngopharynx and the larynx.

4. The Larynx and also Vocal Cords enable Us come Breathe and Talk and also Sing


The larynx associate the lower component of the pharynx, the laryngopharynx, to the trachea. The keeps the air passages open during breathing and also digestion and is the key organ for producing sound. This larynx is made up of nine cartilages. One, the epiglottis, is a lifesaver: situated on the posterior side of the larynx, the epiglottis closes favor a catch door as we swallow. This action steers food down the esophagus and away native the windpipe. Inside the larynx are the vocal wrinkle (or true vocal cords), which have elastic ligaments at their core. As soon as we speak, yell, or sing, air comes up native the lungs and also trachea vibrates the folds, producing the sound.

5. The Hyoid Is the just Bone in the Body the Doesn’t Touch an additional Bone


The U-shaped hyoid bone, located simply under the chin, is critical contributor come both respiratory and digestive processes. The hyoid is attached come the tongue, and helps you come swallow in ~ the begin of digestion. In the respiratory system, frameworks that create sound count on the hyoid. The body and also the higher horns the the bone serve as attachments points because that neck muscles that raise and also lower the larynx throughout speech (as fine as throughout swallowing).

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External Sources

A summary of the pharynx indigenous the 1918 execution of Gray"s Anatomy the the human Body.

Anatomy & Physiology through Visible human body provides detailed coverage of each body device in a guided, visually stunning presentation.

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