Mouth breather or nasal breather?
An increasingly popular discussion and one that has recently been raised by many leading global health researchers and influencers.
Medically there is a clear winner. The simple act of nasal breathing plays a crucial role in overall health and well-being. While often taken for granted, a fully functioning nose is essential for maintaining a good quality of life.
Your nose acts as a natural air filter, warming, and humidifying the air before it reaches your lungs. When breathing through your nose, the air you inhale is effectively pre-treated, reducing the risk of respiratory infections and easing discomfort caused by dry or cold air.
By contrast chronic mouth breathing can lead to detrimental health effects. Some of which may include:
- tooth decay or gum disease
- teeth disfigurement
- difficulty swallowing
- changes to mouth or jaw shape
And of course, mouth breathing does not humidify, warm or clean the air like nose breathing leaving mouth breathers at increased risk of developing airborne infections.
Nasal breathing also ensures there is efficient oxygen exchange, promoting better oxygen saturation and blood flow. This, in turn, enhances your energy levels, cognitive function, overall vitality and apparently even your appearance is better if you routinely breath through a healthy nose.
If you are worried that you breathe through your mouth, there are nasal breathing exercises such as the Buteyko method and others which encourage you to breathe through your nose throughout the day.
Nasal breathing is essential for restorative sleep. Breathing through your nose ensures that all important oxygen intake during sleep. This reduces the likelihood of sleep disturbances, such as the dreaded snoring or sleep apnea.
A fully functioning nose helps prevent harmful particles, allergens, and pathogens from entering the respiratory system, bolstering the immune system and cutting the risk of getting sick with respiratory illnesses.
How do you know if your nose is fully working?
There are a number of tell-tale signs your snout might not be fully functioning – beyond being told you snore!
- Do you feel that your sports performance is restricted by your breathing?
- Do you lack energy and get tired right away, so you lose the desire to do things?
- Do you still feel tired when you wake up – despite getting the hours in?
- Do you feel overwhelmed by life’s constant changes?
- Has your skin lost some of its elasticity and radiance?
If you found yourself answering “yes” to more than one of these questions a medical evaluation of your nasal cavity is your first step.
Nasal problems are often overlooked and far too many people are walking around living everyday with nasal breathing problems and as a result their physical well-being is affected because it impacts the cardiovascular, neurological, vascular, and muscular systems, among others.
Don’t delay poor nasal health takes away your energy levels, cognitive function and overall vitality.
Nasal Health Check Up
A nasal check-up involves a physical examination by an expert rhinologists such as the personalised “Nasal Health and Quality of Life” programme offered by our partner Maria Colomé Rhinological Clinic.
A specialist rhinologist will complete a clinical examination. This routinely includes a nasal endoscopy, the main test to detect pathologies related to the nose and its functioning, and a complete ORL examination. This will allow your rhinologist to evaluate your nasal structure and identify any abnormalities as well as assessing airflow for any obstructions or irregularities that might hinder you from smooth, effective breathing.
After your thorough nasal check-up you’ll be given full diagnostic guidance and if required recommended treatment; be it pharmacological, complementary treatments such as speech therapy, physiotherapy or other therapies with scientific basis and demonstrated efficacy. In some cases, surgical intervention might be required to correct structural issues such as a deviated septum, polyps, or nasal valve collapse.
The improvement of health and well-being through enhanced nasal breathing cannot be overstated. The numerous benefits, including better respiratory efficiency, improved oxygenation, and enhanced sleep quality, contribute significantly to your overall quality of life. A complete diagnosis, orientation, and treatment approach, under the guidance of a rhinological expert, can effectively address nasal breathing issues and pave the way for a healthier and more fulfilling life.