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Quiet Breathing And Asthma Essay

801 words - 4 pages

Normal inspiration and expiration, also known as quiet breathing, is the type of breathing that occurs when a person is in a state of rest (McKinley, 2013). Pressure variations between the atmosphere and the thoracic cavity are produced by changes in lung volume (McKinley, 2013). Boyle’s law describes the inverse relationship between the pressure of a gas and the volume of a container (McKinley, 2013). Asthma is one of many conditions that can affect the pressure gradient in the lungs and cause problems with breathing.

During quiet breathing the body is at rest (McKinley, 2013). Quiet inspiration brings air into the lungs using the diaphragm and external intercostal muscles ...view middle of the document...

The diaphragm and external intercostals contract, beginning the process of inspiration. The volume inside the lungs increases during inspiration, and the volume of the pleural cavity also increases (McKinley, 2013). This leads to a decrease in intrapulmonary pressure and intrapleural pressure while atmospheric pressure remains constant (McKinley, 2013). Since the pressure inside of the lungs is lower than the pressure in the atmosphere, air is able to move into the lungs down the pressure gradient (McKinley, 2013). Air continues to flow into the lungs until intrapulmonary pressure and atmospheric pressure are equalized (McKinley, 2013).

Once the pressure in the atmosphere and inside the lungs returns to an equal level, quiet expiration of the air begins (McKinley, 2013). Intrapulmonary pressure increases as the volume inside the lungs decreases (McKinley, 2013). Unlike quiet inspiration, this does not require any muscle contraction (McKinley, 2013). The diaphragm and external intercostals relax and return to their original state (McKinley, 2013). Air moves down the pressure gradient and out of the lungs when intrapulmonary pressure is greater than atmospheric pressure (McKinley, 2013). Expiration continues until the intrapulmonary pressure is once again equal to the atmospheric pressure (McKinley, 2013). Intrapleural pressure only changes slightly during quiet breathing, but it always remains lower than intrapulmonary pressure to help keep the lungs inflated (McKinley, 2013).

An air flow obstruction may be caused by several different things, such as excess mucus, allergic reaction,...

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