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Why is proper lung function so essential to us?

The air we breathe is composed of different gases, including oxygen. Our lungs take in this oxygen and deliver it into our bloodstream, which then carries oxygen straight to our heart. The heart then sends that oxygen-rich blood throughout our body. Our cells must have oxygen to function properly, making it obvious that proper lung function is vital.

Our lungs also remove carbon dioxide from the air and we breathe it back out as we exhale. The lungs are able to accomplish their work with the help of tiny, thin-walled air sacs which are called alveoli.

Because the oxygen concentration within the alveoli is so high, the oxygen just passes across the membrane into the body's smallest blood vessels, which are called pulmonary capillaries.

Next comes the hemoglobin, which delivers oxygen in red blood cells. Inside the pulmonary capillaries, hemoglobin has carbon dioxide bound to it and initially has very little oxygen. But because hemoglobin wants oxygen it allows the oxygen to bind to it , by releasing carbon dioxide.

The carbon dioxide leaves when you exhale and oxygen-rich blood returns to your heart.

However, this entire process breaks down when you smoke-and you wind up starting your heart and the rest of your body of oxygen.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.