The Nose
 Know your nose
 Functions of the nose
 Nasal Dysfunctions
 Find out more about...

Find out more about...
 
Cilia Nasal Mucous Breathing Through the Nose Deviated Nasal Septum
Nasal Polyps Turbinate Hypertrophy Sleep Apnea

Breathing through the Nose

Other benefits of breathing through the nose:



• The lungs are a primary control of our energy level. They extract oxygen from the air we breathe primarily on the exhale. Because the nostrils are smaller than 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.

• 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.

• When mouth breathing, the brain thinks carbon dioxide is being lost too quickly and sensing this, will stimulate the mucous membrane 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.

• The sinuses produce nitric oxide (NO) which is a pollutant but harmful to bacteria in small doses.

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome, the new medical description for what most of us call snoring is socially unacceptable. People are irritated by the snoring noise and are unable to sleep well in the same room and in some cases the same building as the snorer. Snoring may also lead to major medical problems if snoring and mouth breathing combine to cause irregular breathing during sleep. Hospital studies have also established that nocturnal mouth breathing is a primary cause of loud snoring.