Important Notes on Breathing and Exchange of Gases for NEET Biology

All You Need to Know about Breathing and Exchange of Gases

NEET Biology exam has always been a tough nut to crack for most aspirants. To top it, there are several chapters where students often face confusion. Herein, breathing and exchange of gases go hand in hand. In simple words, breathing involves the exchange of gases.

Therefore, to help you with a proper clarification here are important notes of biology for NEET breathing and exchange of gases. You will find appropriate and detailed explanations of both the phenomenon. Read further to find out. 

Comparison between Gas Exchange and Breathing

Breathing is the act of respiration in living things. There is an exchange of gases in it, where we find us inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. This is the purest form of gaseous exchange that is known to us.

This process, it must be noted, goes on to involve quite a few steps and cycles that goes on inside our body. To put it in simple words, we can explain it in three stages as follows -

  • We intake food items as well as oxygen.

  • Food breaks into molecules and oxygen help in performing catabolic processes.

  • Carbon dioxide is released in the process and in turn we exhale it out.

Thus, you can see how breathing and exchange of gases happen at the same time. You should note that breathing is a continuous process which involves the transfer of gases. Another exciting part that you should note here is that the same process is different in the case of animals and plants.

Exchange of Gases in Plants and Animals

We know both plants and animals require energy to do work, which is obtained from catabolic activities. In the case of plants, they need gases to conduct photosynthesis, while animals depend on gas exchange for respiration.

However, the respiration and exchange of gases in animals can be of multiple types. Specifically, different animals have distinct and specific organs to respire, which are discussed below -

  • Skin

The image shows a frog which has its throat bloated. Their thin membrane helps in diffusion of gases from the external environment into their blood vessels.

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  • Lungs

Breathing through the lungs is the most common way among animals, also including humans. Consider the picture below where a human respiratory system is shown for your convenience.

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  • Gills

One of the most common types of respiration that we have known since childhood is that of fishes. Look at the image below, showing a fish with its gills in focus.

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Fishes gulp in water and allow it to pass through the gills. While passing, the dissolved oxygen in water gets transferred to the blood vessels. You should note here that the gills are made up of minute blood vessels that absorb the oxygen from water and help in breathing.

  • Spiracles 

Spiracles or tracheas are tube-like structures that are present along the membrane or skin of certain insects. These spiracles help in exchange of gases between the body tissues and the external environment. 

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The above image shows a locust with appropriate labelling of its parts that are used in breathing. 

Hence, now you are familiar with different types of breathing. All you have to do is revise the breathing and exchange of gases class 11 notes for NEET regularly for a clear understanding. 

Notably, problems due to breathing often arise in humans; let us look into ways to combat the same.

Ways to Improve Gas Exchange in Breathing

Humans often face difficulties in breathing due to various reasons. Some might turn into a chronic disorder, some may be situational. While the former requires a continuous solution, the latter can be combatted with precautions.

Conditions like the following might arise -

  • Asthma

  • Occupational asthma

  • Emphysema 

Apart from these conditions, such respiratory disorder might also occur at higher altitudes. Usually, there is a lack of oxygen at higher elevations; people prone to health hazard might find it difficult to breathe.

Among other instance, people having allergies to dust or pollens might also fall prey to respiratory disorders. Hence, it is advisable to take necessary precautions by staying away from dusty areas and avoiding such unwanted situations. 

So, now you know how breathing and exchange of gases is related to each other. Please note, you will need to revise these topics before the exam so as to write apt answers. A proper understanding of the same is vital in acing NEET with accolades.

Tip to Tackle NEET Effectively

Once you have learnt about breathing and exchange of gases, you are aware that both are interrelated phenomena. While they are not the same, they go hand in hand, while supporting innumerable life forms all around us, and even ourselves. 

So, while you keep preparing for various topics, make sure you refer to the notes of breathing and exchange of gases and prepare it well for your NEET. Altogether, it will help you in maintaining a clear idea of the topic, in turn ensuring good marks in this entrance examination.

Alongside, do not forget to ensure a balanced diet and proper sleep before the NEET exam to keep yourselves fit and going on to ace it with higher grades.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the difference between breathing and exchange of gases?

Ans. Both breathing and gas exchange is part of a single process. During breathing, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, which is the exchange of gases.

2. What is the gas exchange mechanism?

Ans. The mechanism of gas exchange starts with inhaling oxygen. It then enters the bloodstream through the lungs. This oxygen helps in carrying out various catabolic processes in the body, which then releases carbon dioxide. Consequently, CO2 is exhaled by us, thereby completing the process.

3. What are the principles of gas exchange?

Ans. Diffusion, perfusion and ventilation are three primary principles of gas exchange. All these processes occur in the mentioned order while inhaling.

4. What is the difference between perfusion and diffusion?

Ans. Perfusion refers to the flow of fluid from a capillary tube to the organs and tissues. Usually, the blood flow in the circulatory system is considered in this case. On the other hand, diffusion is the movement of particles from a higher density region to that of a lower one.