Document Type : Original Article


General Surgeon, Sintra Hospital, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka


The respiratory system has two parts, upper and lower, which are responsible for ventilation (air passage from inside to outside and vice versa). The upper airways include the nostrils, sinuses, tonsils and adenoids, the larynx and trachea, and the lower respiratory tract includes the lungs (bronchial branches and alveoli). On each side of the nose are three separate airways called tentacles. These tentacles heat and humidity and filter the incoming air. Mucus secretions are constantly flowing in the nasal cavities, causing it to become moist. These secretions are secreted from goblet cells of the nose and are constantly flowing to the throat by ciliated bodies. The olfactory neurotransmitters are located in the nasal membrane. The sinuses around the nose are four pairs of bony cavities made up of epithelial tissue and mucus-secreting glands that drain their mucus secretions into the nasal cavity. These sinuses are: frontal sinuses (forehead), ethmoidal sinuses (perineum of the eye), sphenoidal sinuses (butterfly), maxillary sinuses (cheek). The throat is divided into three parts: the nasopharynx (nasopharynx), the oropharynx (rural throat) and the laryngopharynx (larynx). The larynx is made up of 9 cartilages: 3 large epiglottis, thyroid, cricoid and 3 small paired cartilages. The most important function of the larynx is to produce sound, and its other role is to pass air through the upper to lower system. It also prevents foreign objects from entering the bottom by creating a cough reflex. Thyroid cartilage is the largest laryngeal cartilage. Arytenoid cartilage, along with thyroid cartilage, is involved in moving the vocal cords. The trachea has a C-shaped or semi-annular cartilage tissue, and the posterior part, which is adjacent to the esophagus, has muscle tissue.


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