Nose breathing versus mouth breathing
"Nasal breathing (as opposed to mouth breathing) increases circulation, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, slows the breathing rate and improves overall lung volumes " Swift, Campbell, McKown 1988 Oronasal obstruction, lung volumes, and arterial oxygenation. Lancet 1, 73-75
"The internal nose not only provides around 90% of he respiratory system air-conditioning requirement but also recovers around 33% of exhaled heat and moisture. Elad, Wolf, Keck 2008 Air-conditioning in the human nasal cavity. Respiratory Physioolgy and Neurobiology 163. 121-127
nasal cycle, which is part of an overall body cycle, is controlled by
the hypothalamus. Sympathetic dominance on one side causes nasal
vasoconstriction of the ipsilateral turbinate, while parasympathetic
dominance on the other causes nasal vasoconstriction of the contralateral
turbinate. Increased airflow through the right nostrii is correlated to
increased left brain activity and enhanced verbal performance, where as
increased airflow through the left nostril is associated with increased
right brain activity and enhanced spatial performance."
nasal breathing causes a reduction in FEO2, indicating that on expiration
the percentage of oxygen extracted from the air by the lungs is increased
and an increase in FECO2, indicating an increase in the percentage of
expired air that is carbon dioxide". Morton, King, Papalia 1995 Comparison
of maximal oxygen consumption with oral and nasal breathing. Australian
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 27, 51-55
1. The lungs are a primary source of our energy level. They extract oxygen from the air we breathe primarily on the exhale. Because the nostrils are smaller then the mouth, air exhaled through the nose creates back pressure when one exhales. It slows the air escape so the lungs have more time to extract oxygen from them. When there is proper oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange, the blood will maintain a balanced pH. If carbon dioxide is lost too quickly, as in mouth breathing, oxygen absorption is decreased.
2. Afferent stimuli from the nerves that regulate breathing are in the nasal passages. The inhaled air passing through the nasal mucosa carries the stimuli to the reflex nerves that control breathing. Mouth breathing bypasses the nasal mucosa and makes regular breathing difficult. During sleep, it predisposes one to loud snoring and irregular breathing and can lead to a serious condition called Sleep Apnea and heart conditions.
3. Also, when mouth breathing, the brain thinks carbon dioxide is being lost too quickly and sensing this, will stimulate the goblet cells to produce mucous, slow the breathing and cause constriction of blood vessels. Breathing through the nose also limits air intake and forces one to SLOW down. Proper nose breathing reduces hypertension and stress for most people. Kind of like a speed control (governor) on a car engine.
4. The nostrils and sinuses filter and warm the air going into the lungs. The mouth breather bypasses this. The sinuses produce nitric oxide (NO) which is a pollutant but harmful to bacteria in small doses. Nitric (not nitric) oxide is one of the very important chemical parts of sexual arousal. It vaso-dilates (engorgement) and plays a part in maintaining erection.
5. Each nostril is innervated by five cranial nerves from a different side of the brain. Each nostril functions independently and synergistically in filtering, warming, moisturizing, dehumidifying, and smelling the air.
6. Maintaining a keen sense of smell is very important for enjoying life and for safety and social acceptance. Think of all the beautiful smells we enjoy with our nose. Smell influences our behavior, our memories, and many autonomic nervous system functions which are below the level of conscious awareness. This is because the receptors in the nose, known as olfactory bulbs, are direct extensions of a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus, also known as the Brain's brain, is responsible for many functions in our bodies, particularly those that we consider automatic: heartbeat, blood pressure, thirst, appetite, and of course, the cycles of sleeping a waking. The hypothalamus is also responsible for generating chemicals that influence memory and emotion.
7. Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, the new medical description for what most of us call snoring, is a problem for about 90 million Americans everyday. Socially unacceptable snoring occurs when other people complain about the noise. They are irritated by the snoring noise because they were unable to sleep well in the same room and in some cases the same building. Snoring is a major social problem. It can also lead to major medical problems if snoring and mouth breathing combine to cause irregular breathing during sleep.
8. What you do during waking hours carries over into sleep. Any opportunity for mouth breathing inhaling or exhaling will increase the chances of mouth breathing during sleep. Hospital studies have established that nocturnal mouth breathing is a primary cause of loud snoring. Snoring is a precursor to sleep apnea and apnea a precursor to heart attacks and dying in one's sleep.
9. Nose breathing imposes approximately 50 percent more resistance to the air stream in normal individuals than does mouth breathing, resulting in 10-20 percent more O2 uptake. (Cottle, 1972:Rohrer, 1915) There must be adequate nasal resistance to maintain adequate elasticity of the lungs. (Cottle 1980)
10. Breathing through the mouth with the nose obstructed
usually imposes too little resistance and can lead to micro-areas of poor
ventilation in the lungs (atelactasis). Many years of breathing against excessive
resistance as with nasal obstruction, may cause micro areas of poor
ventilation (emphysema). Barelli (Behavioral and Pshchological
Approaches to Breathing Disorders.p.50 )
11. Body temperature may be influenced by the temperature of expired air (Scott, 1954; Weiner, 1954)
12. Work of lung movement doubled when nose breathing, creating mild resistance training.
13. Chin-Up Strips are safe, inexpensive and easy to use. In fact, if you mouth breathe during waking hours you will want to: USE THEM during the exercises in the Optimal Breathing Improvement Program AS WELL AS DURING SLEEPING. They may also assist reducing the number of colds for reasons not yet certain.
They are by now in many drug stores in the US. Ask your druggist for them. We include a sample in our Sleep program.
"I am convinced improved breathing through the nasal mucosa 24/7 is a key to a long and healthy life. A life filled with energy and a great disposition which will help maintain and strengthen the relationships one needs for emotional and physical wellness."
Dale D. Miller, JD & CEO
14. Training yourself to nose breathe while waking can help the way you breathe while sleeping.
16. SINUS blockage and difficulty nose breathing. What would make spinal fluid leak out of your nose? Dr. Hanson: In patients who’ve had a head injury, their dura, which is the leathery material that surrounds the brain and encloses it, can tear and they can have cerebral spinal fluid leaking through the dura into the nose. They can also have the same problem after sinus surgery. In both cases, there’s a potential for bacteria to get into the lining of the brain, which is obviously a bad thing.
17. Open your nostrils with Nasivent.
18. Conditions worsened by mouth breathing
19. SEX. You can't kiss someone and breathe through your mouth.
You may have less opportunit8es for sex if you mouth breath because mouth breathing makes you look dense, dull or stupid.
1. Breathe Right. A special band aid purchased at
The traditional approach is to use a scalpel to cut cartilage inside the
nose and reshape it manually. The surgical wounds have to be closed with
stitches. This method is costly, and the patient may need to take time off
work during their recovery and it the septum often reverts back to where it
Oral breathing increases pH and vocal effort by superficial drying of vocal fold mucosa.
Sivasankar M, Fisher KV.
Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Oral breathing superficially dehydrates the airway lumen by decreasing the depth of the sol layer in humans and animals. Conversely, nasal breathing can increase the humidity of inspired air. We compared the effects of short-term oral and nasal breathing on Pth and perceived vocal effort in 20 female subjects randomly assigned to two groups: oral breathing (N = 10, age 21-32 years); nasal breathing (N = 10, age 20-36 years). We hypothesized that short-term oral breathing, but not nasal breathing, would increase Pth, and that subjects would perceive this change as an increase in vocal effort. Following 15 minutes of oral breathing, Pth increased at comfortable and low pitch (p < 0.01) with 6 of 10 subjects reporting increased vocal effort. Nasal breathing reduced Pth at all three pitches (p < 0.01), and 7 of 10 subjects reported decreased vocal effort. Over all subjects, 49% of the variance in treatment-induced change in Pth was accounted for by change in vocal effort (R = 0.70). We posit that obligatory oral breathing places healthy subjects at risk for symptoms of increased vocal effort. The facilitatory role of superficial hydration on vocal fold oscillation should be considered in biomechanical models of phonation and in the clinical prevention of laryngeal dryness. See smelling to diagnose infection and disease
Hey Mike, I just read
some of your subscribers questions and noticed one about having narrow nasal passages. The guy was considering surgery. As relates to that problem, I have noticed that when I shift to diaphragm breathing and progress to where my intestines are pushed all the way down and simultaneously my chest is expanded, all of a sudden there is a physiological shift in my neck and jaw and my sinuses and nostrils pop fully open.
It is a wonderful feeling of totality, and it is sustainable if I keep breathing in this way. At this stage of my development, it takes a very conscious and persistent effort to get to this place, but I am looking forward to the day when it is my normal modus operandi.
I just thought that subscriber might benefit from hearing this before diving under the surgeon's knife. Thanks, and keep up the quest.
One of our school core faculty
members advises us that there is recent research showing that when we
breathe in through the nose we produce nitric oxide. This nitric oxide
works as a vaso dilator. Mouth breathing bypasses this NO2 production.
Without NO2 our breathing chemistry is compromised causing a lessening (vaso
constriction) in our airways, arteries and capillaries. This reduces
oxygenation to the cells. Their are as yet no studies on the outcome of this
but the implications are huge. For example, infants and children with food
allergies from dairy, grains, chocolate etc get their little nostrils
stuffed up and that forces them to breathe through their mouths. This most
likely reduces oxygen uptake to their developing brains and bodies. In
addition, I often read about increases in snoring amongst children. Mouth
breathing during waking and sleeping hours is a contributor to snoring.
Gradually, muscle tissues in the mouth and throat are stretched beyond their
intended range. When this happens, snoring and the health risks associated
with OSA increase. Snoring stems largely from collapsed or constricted breathing passages. So does sleep
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The breathing improvement techniques, practices and products outlined in this publication are extremely gentle, and should, if carried out as described, be beneficial
to your overall physical and psychological health. If you have any serious medical or psychological problem, however, such as heart disease, high blood pressure,
cancer, mental illness, or recent abdominal or chest surgery, you should consult your health professional before undertaking these practices.