Eli5: How does sucking in air through your nose work exactly?



Eli5: How does sucking in air through your nose work exactly?

In: Biology

It’s just you Lungs expanding, which draws in air. If your mouth is closed or blocked then the natural path is through the nostrils

You are currently under 1 atmosphere of pressure. That means that you would kind of balloon out a bit if you were in space, kind of like a blobfish from those pictures you can go look up real quick.

When you go to breathe in, your diaphragm pulls on your chest cavity, increasing the space inside. This lowers the pressure in your lungs to be *less* than one atmosphere, meaning there is just less stuff than there could be. So air rushes in from outside to fill the space. When you exhale, your diaphragm pushes, and the process is reversed.

Think of your lungs like an accordion, and your diaphragm like the arms that push and pull on the bellows. Arm pulls, accordion fills, arm pushes, accordion empties out.

When you change your air going through your mouth or nose, all you’re doing is closing or opening your mouth or throat to let air through a different pathway.

1. The diaphragm becomes straight pulling the walls of the lungs with it
2. volume of lungs increases > pressure drops inside
3. now pressure inside lungs is less than atmospheric pressure. So air moves from high pressure area to low pressure area ie, from atmosphere to lungs

It works in the same way as breathing in through your mouth does. In both cases, your diaphragm contracts, which expands your lungs. This causes the air to “rush in” due to the lower pressure in your lungs (compared to the atmosphere).

Think of it like a syringe. When you pull on a syringe, the inside gets bigger but there’s the same amount of stuff inside, so the air “rushes in” to “fill up” the space.

The opposite applies to breathing out. You diaphragm relaxes, and the air “rushes out” of your lungs like a balloon.