Breathing means life

Breathing: what happens when you breathe?

Inhale and exhale - these basic processes are commonly understood as breathing. The responsible organ: the lungs.

The most important function of the lungs is to ensure gas exchange, i.e. the blood and thus our body with oxygen (O2) and carbon dioxide (CO2) removed from the blood.

When you breathe in, air flows into your body through your mouth or nose. One can thus differentiate between mouth breathing and nasal breathing. Nasal breathing is healthier, because here the air is cleaned, moistened and preheated through the hairs and mucous membranes in the nose.


Gas exchange between the body and the outside world

Through the throat, past the larynx and vocal cords, the air is drawn into the windpipe (trachea) via the bronchi and bronchioles, right up to the Alveoli sucked. This is where the real one takes place Gas exchangebetween the body and the outside world:

  • Oxygen (O2) is absorbed from the air we breathe into the blood of the pulmonary circulation and transported into the tissue via the blood circulation.
  • In the cells, the oxygen is consumed in metabolic processes, carbon dioxide (CO2) as a waste product.
  • The carbon dioxide in turn gets back to the lungs via the blood and is exhaled there into the environment.

Gas exchange in the lungs is vital because the body needs oxygen for most of the metabolic processes in the cells. However, not only the lungs are involved in breathing; the auxiliary respiratory muscles are also of decisive importance for the breathing mechanics.