The trachea (windpipe) divides to form the right and left main bronchi. These divide to form smaller and smaller tubes called bronchioles. Eventually the bronchioles end in the alveoli (small air sacs). At the alveoli, oxygen from the air we breathe into our lungs is moved into the blood. The blood then carries oxygen around to the rest of the body, which needs oxygen to survive. Without the bronchi, air would never get into the lungs, and oxygen would never get into our bodies.
The bronchi's walls are made of cartilage.
The right bronchus (shown on the left in the image on this page) is shorter, wider, and straighter than the left bronchus.
Other pages to read
- Bronchitis (an illness that affects the bronchi)
- Asthma (a disease that makes the bronchi get narrower)
- Bronchodilators (medicines that help the bronchi get wider when they narrow because of a disease like asthma)
Images for kids
Mainstem bronchi seen branching off the trachea (labeled at top), with the left mainstem bronchi passing below the aortic arch before branching into smaller bronchi.
Bronchus Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.