What Are Protective Mechanisms Of The Respiratory System>?


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The respiratory system has a number of protective mechanisms;
* Nasal hairs:  The large airborne particles are trapped in the nasal hairs which stretch across the nares.
* Mucus production:  The respiratory tract above the bronchioles is lined with epithelium, which secretes thick, sticky mucas.  This waterproofs the inside of the respiratory system and provides a protective barrier against any irritants.
* Cilia:  These are minute hair-like projections of the epithelium lining along the respiratory tract.  They move the mucas and trapped particles towards the throat
* Sneezing:  Protective reflex which is stimulated when the nasal mucosa is irritated.
* Coughing:  Reflex mechanism for removing excess mucus or other irritants from the air passengers beyond the nose.
* Phagocyte activity:  Phagocytic cells in the epithelium engulf debris, dust and bacteria s well as help to filter incoming air.
* Epithelial lining:  The filtration in the nasal cavity removes large particles, small particles are trapped as they pass through the bronchial tree and smaller particles are trapped in the mucus of the respiratory bronchioles or in the alveolar fluid where they are engulfed by the macrophages.  The debris are cleared out of the system by the coughing and sneezing reflexes.

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