Parts of the Respiratory System The respiratory system is divided into two subgroups: the upper respiratory tract and lower respiratory tract. The upper respiratory tract includes the nose, nasal cavity, mouth, pharynx, and larynx, whereas the trachea and lungs make up the lower respiratory system. Upper Respiratory Tract: Parts and Functions

Nose: As air enters through the nose, the mucous membrane warms and humidifies the air. Tiny hairs called cilia protect the nasal passage as well as the respiratory tract by filtering out dirt or dust and other foreign matter present in the breathed air. As air is inhaled, the cilia move back and forth to help in

Airway Esophagus


removing any harmful particles via nostrils.

Vocal cords


Pharynx: The pharynx lies at the back of the nose and mouth and acts as a

carrier of air as well as food. Therefore, it is a part of the respiratory and digestive systems. At the end of the pharynx, the passage of air and food divides into the upper pharynx (air-only passage) and the lower pharynx, or esophagus. Larynx: The larynx is known as the “voice box” because it’s home to our vocals chords. It is the uppermost part of the air-only passage. It acts as a passageway for air between the pharynx and the trachea.


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