You might be wondering why you should pay more attention to how you breathe.
After all, it is a process that the body does automatically.
But here’s the truth, most people don’t get the full benefits of breathing simply because they’re doing it wrong.
Breathing through your nose is a lot healthier than breathing through your mouth. First, your nose is designed not just to take in air but to filter it. This way, it prevents harmful debris from going to your lungs. Second, it also increases your oxygen intake as nose breathing enables deeper breaths.
If you want to know more about why nose breathing is better, especially over mouth breathing, then you came to the right place.
So, let’s get on with it.
Nose Breathing vs. Mouth Breathing
There is a clear anatomical difference between breathing through your nose and your mouth.
Sure, they are located in separate areas of the face and their structures, corresponding to breathing, are different. However, they are both used for breathing because of how they connect to the windpipe.
Both your nose and mouth lead to the larynx, the opening of the windpipe or trachea, through a muscle called the pharynx. Hence, air can enter either the nose and the mouth and would get to the lungs either way.
However, in terms of optimum functionality, the difference is more apparent and exponentially significant.
Why Is It Better to Breathe Through Your Nose?
Nose breathing, naturally, is when you inhale air and let it pass through your nose.
Inhaled air becomes more suitable for lung use when it is acquired through nose breathing. Here are some reasons why:
1. Air is filtered through the nasal hair.
Inhaled air is considered healthier because the nose contains nasal hair.
Inside the nostrils, you’ll find nasal or nose hair that filters foreign particles like dust and allergens that might go to your lungs and cause some damages or immune response.
According to a study published in PubMed, the density of nasal hair can have a protective effect for those who have asthma.
2. It is conditioned for efficient transport and lung processing.
The humidity of the inhaled hair is altered if it goes through the nose. It becomes warmer and moist, matching the temperature of the body.
This way, the lungs process the humidified air better than dry air. In a nutshell, conditioning the air improves the efficiency of air transport from the nose to the lungs.
Advantages of Breathing Through Your Nose
Since the anatomy of the nose caters to optimized inhaled air, nose breathing comes with the following benefits:
1. Improves Oxygen circulation
When you breathe through your nose, your nasal airways produce nitric oxide (NO).
There has been researched evidence proving NO can induce dilation in the blood vessels. The wider the blood vessels are, the more efficient blood circulation is.
2. Improves Your Lung Capacity
The dilation of blood vessels also improves oxygen uptake.
The more oxygen is delivered to the lungs, the more they perform their functions better.
A study published at the International Journal of Exercise Science emphasized that breathing through your nose works up the lower lungs. In turn, it increases the distribution output of oxygen in the body.
3. Protects You From Allergens
Allergens are any substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Some allergens enter the body through inhalation.
Mouth breathers are more prone to intake allergens due to the lack of filters, just like nose hairs.
In cases where allergies are developed, mouth breathing is often taken as the most comfortable choice due to nasal congestion. However, this may even worsen the symptoms.
According to research, nasal breathing exercises can significantly reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
4. Enhances Your Immune System
The filtration process in the nose keeps contaminants and vectors for disease-causing microbes from entering the body.
Likewise, the production of NO improves the circulation of blood containing white blood cells that fight off foreign invaders.
According to a study relating nasal breathing with COVID-19 mitigation, it was suggested that the production of NO has a significant effect in reducing the severity of the coronavirus infection.
Additionally, breathing through your nose reduces the risk of mucus buildup and, by extension, coughing.
5. Improves Your Stamina
There’s a reason why gym coaches and trainers ensure that athletes begin their workout with breathing exercises.
Nose breathing lowers breathing rates by 50% and reduces the need for exertion by 60%. This suggests that you can withstand exercises and work out for a longer time as your endurance improves with nasal breathing.
6. Prevents Oral and Sleeping Disorders
Breathing has a pivotal effect on the development of the oral cavity.
Studies have shown that children who are mouth breathers are prone to dental problems and facial bone abnormalities.
Cases of tooth decay, chronic gingivitis, and oral infections are most likely to occur in people who do not breathe through their noses.
On the other hand, you can also develop disorders caused by breathing problems. And in the process of treating these issues, nasal breathing is reinforced.
What Is Mouth Breathing?
Taking in air through your mouth is not always a bad thing. In some cases, it’s the only choice. For example, you might resort to mouth breathing when the following conditions arise:
1. A structural problem with the nose like a deviated septum
2. Nasal congestion
3. Colds and Allergies
However, there are circumstances where mouth breathing is nothing but a bad habit. If this is the case, you could suffer from several health conditions caused by a dry mouth.
With mouth breathing, you constantly lose moisture as the air pass through the insides of your mouth.
1. Dental Problems
In research published at the Bioinformation journal, mouth breathing that obstructs the upper airways leads to a plethora of dental problems.
A dry mouth due to mouth breathing can make your gums prone to bacterial damage and inflammation. Likewise, you can develop tooth decay, jaw disorders, and bad breath.
2. Sleeping Disorders
Snoring and sleep apnea, along with sleep-related hypoventilation, are associated with mouth breathing.
One critical treatment for these conditions is a corrective behavioral approach to improve sleeping hygiene and breathing.
3. Asthma and Respiratory Issues
The lack of filtration in inhaled air may cause lung obstruction from foreign particles.
Asthma can be triggered by this condition, along with other respiratory problems. Likewise, it can increase the production of mucus.
The mouth is for eating, and the nose is for breathing. That’s all you need to know to distinguish which is which.
Nose breathing is a significant part of your health. But, on the flipside, mouth breathing can lead to health problems that require immediate attention.
Breathing is the epitome of living. So why Is It Better to Breathe Through Your Nose?
We often neglect this biological process because it comes naturally to us, but doing it the wrong way can severely affect our health.
On the other hand, if you pay close attention to how you breathe, you may protect your body from diseases and disorders.
Knowing all these details about nose breathing will be trivial if you don’t apply it in your daily life.
Check on your breathing and make sure you’re doing it with your nose instead of your mouth.