What are Arteries?
Arteries are a part of the circulatory system, which is responsible for the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to all cells in the body. Obviously, it’s a vital role, and thus keeping your arteries healthy is very important. Diseases such as heart attack and stroke are becoming increasingly more often, and are caused by progressive deterioration of the arteries. Arteries themselves are basically hollow vessels. They’re filled with blood pumped by the heart. The main artery in the body is the aorta. It starts from the heart and then branches out as it goes further away, creating many other. Smaller arteries, as well as capillaries, tiny arteries that can be found in our mucous membranes (for example, in the mouth or nose). Arteries can contract or relax depending on the secretion levels of different hormones and signals in the body. In stressful situations, the arteries widen, allowing more blood to flow and support the muscles and brain. This is accompanied by an increased heart rate, because the heart needs to pump more blood in a certain period of time than it had to before. When you’re relaxed, the arteries are tightened, allowing less blood to flow through, as it’s not as needed as before.
What are Veins?
Veins, along with arteries, constitute the circulatory system and transport blood throughout the organism. However, they transport deoxygenated blood, contrary to the oxygenated blood the arteries carry. They are closer to the skin surface than arteries, and they have small valves placed on equal distances inside, in order to prevent the blood from flowing backwards. Depending on several parameters, they can be classified as: superficial arteries, located closer to the surface of the body, that have no corresponding arteries, deep veins, located deeper in the body and have corresponding arteries, communicating veins that directly connect superficial and deep veins, systemic veins which drain different body tissues and deliver deoxygenated blood to the heart.
Similarities between Arteries and Veins
Since both veins and arteries are parts of the circulatory system and thus transport blood, there are some distinctive differences to be made – the blood they transport can either be oxygenated or deoxygenated, based on which a difference is made. Also, veins are closer to the surface of the body, while arteries are deeper in it. Veins also have small valves in them to prevent blood from flowing backwards, which arteries don’t have. The main similarities between arteries and veins are covered below:
- Similarities between Arteries and Veins in terms of “circulatory System”
They are both parts of the circulatory system
Combined, arteries and veins complete the human circulatory system. As the heart pumps oxygenated blood into the stream, through the arteries, it is transported to every cell in the organism, while veins pick up the used up blood, which is deoxygenated, and transport it back to the heart.
- Similarities between Arteries and Veins in terms of “vessels”
They are both hollow vessels that transport blood
Structurally, they are fairly similar. They are both basically tubes that are filled with blood. The only important difference is the existence of valves in the case of veins, which serve to protect the blood from flowing backwards.
- Similarities between Arteries and Veins in terms of “Structure”
They both have a main part from which other, smaller parts branch out
In the case of arteries, it is the aorta. In the case of veins, it is the superior vena cava. These two stem directly from the heart and then branch out into millions of smaller arteries and veins.
Take home message on Similarities between Arteries and Veins
The circulatory system is, along with all other systems in the human body, essential for a healthy life. Keeping the arteries and veins healthy through correct diet and sleep, while avoiding stressful situations, can lead to a significant increase in the length of life. They are both vessels that transport blood. Arteries transport oxygenated blood from the heart and to all the cells in the human body, while veins transport deoxygenated blood from all those cells and back to the heart. Their main similarities lie in the fact that they’re parts of the circulatory system and transport blood.
Author: Dr. Howard Fields
Dr. Howard is a Clinical Psychologist and a Professional Writer and he has been partnering with patients to create positive change in their lives for over fifteen years. Dr. Howard integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each patient.