Suffering from a respiratory disorder is one of the most common reasons for doctor visits in industrialized countries, where the air is filled with chemicals, pollutants, dust, pollen, bacteria, and viruses. The billions of microorganisms — bacteria, viruses, and fungi — in the air you breathe can enter the lungs, and they make respiratory infections quite common. Some infections, such as the common cold or sinusitis, affect the upper respiratory tract. Others, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, affect the lower respiratory tract.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF BREATHING?
You breathe with the help of your diaphragm (which is a dome-shaped muscle under your rib cage) and other muscles in your chest and abdomen. These muscles will literally change the space and pressure inside your body cavity to accomodate your breathing. When your diaphragm pulls down, it is making room for the lungs to expand. The lungs get bigger with air and pushes the diaphragm down. The diaphragm also lowers the internal air pressure.
Outside of your body, the air pressure is greater and you suck in air when you inhale. The air then expands your lungs like two balloons being blown up. When your diaphragm relaxes, it moves up and the cavity inside your body gets smaller. Your muscles will then squeeze your rib cage and your lungs begin to collapse as the air is pushed up and out your body when you exhale.