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Difference between Right and Left Lung

Difference between Right and Left Lung

The lungs are a pair of organs in the chest that allow oxygen to enter the body and carbon dioxide to leave the body. Each lung has three sections: the upper zone, middle zone, and lower zone. The right lung is slightly larger than the left lung because it has to accommodate the liver. Despite their different sizes, both lungs serve an important function in the body. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the difference between the right and left lungs. Stay tuned!

What is the Right Lung?

  • The right lung is slightly larger than the left lung and divided into three lobes: the upper, middle, and lower. It is located on the right side of the chest cavity and separated from the left lung by the mediastinum, which contains the heart, trachea, esophagus, and other structures. The right lung has a narrower shape than the left lung and a more vertical orientation.
  • The right main bronchus (airway) is also shorter and wider than the left main bronchus. These anatomical differences reflect the fact that the right side of the heart is slightly larger than the left side and that the trachea (windpipe) bends to the right at its junction with the bronchi. Because of these anatomical differences, diseases of the lungs often affect one side more than the other.
  • For example, pneumonia (infection of the lungs) most commonly affects only one lobe, and tuberculosis (a bacterial infection) typically starts in either the upper or lower lobe of the right lung.

What is Left Lung?

  • The left Lung is one of the two lungs located in the thoracic cavity, the other being the Right Lung. The left lung is slightly smaller than the right lung due to the presence of the heart on the left side of the body. The left lung has three lobes- the upper, middle, and lower lobes. The left bronchus, a branch of the trachea, enters the left lung at the hilum. The Left Lung is divided into sections by thin sheets of tissue called fissures.
  • The Left Lung supplies oxygen to the blood and eliminates carbon dioxide. It also provides immunity against inhaled particles and germs. The left lung helps in maintaining the equilibrium of the acid base in our blood and producing sounds during speech. Because it is located closer to the heart, Left Lung functions more efficiently than the Right Lung.
  • The left Lung cleanses, warms, and humidifies the air before it reaches the Right Lung. It also stores around 10% of reserve air supply which can be used during strenuous activities or in case of emergency. The left lung consists of about 2,300-3,000 tiny sacs called alveoli where gas exchange occurs between air and blood vessels.

Difference between Right and Left Lung

The right lung is wider than the left lung and has three lobes while the left lung only has two. The right lung also sits higher in the thoracic cavity due to the liver sitting underneath it. The two lungs are separated by a fissure that runs vertically down the middle. The hilus is the point where the bronchi, blood vessels, and nerves enter and exit the lungs.

The left lung is narrower so that the heart can fit underneath it. The apex of the left lung is at a higher level than the right lung because the heart sits on the left side of the body. The base of each lung is concave so that it fits snugly against the diaphragm. Each side of the diaphragm has a small depression, called a costal angle, which helps form this concavity.


While the right lung is slightly larger, both lungs are essential for breathing. Damage to either lung can impair respiratory function, so it’s important to understand the difference between them. Knowing the anatomy of the lungs can help you identify problems and seek medical attention if necessary.

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