If you are a chronic mouth breather because of a stuffy nose, you're not alone. Do you feel like you can never get enough oxygen into your lungs? Do you feel tired all day no matter how much sleep you get? Have you tried various home remedies, over-the-counter medications or even prescription medications with no help? If you answered yes to any of the above, what you will read below will show you how critical it is to breathe well through your nose. Chronic mouth breathing can not only affect your quality of life, but your life, period. As an ear, nose and throat specialist with years of experience helping people breathe better through their noses, I have seen hundreds of people have dramatically improved lives.
One of the most important reasons to breathe through your nose is because of a gas called nitric oxide that's made by your nose and sinus mucous membranes. This gas is produced in small amounts, but when inhaled into the lungs, significantly enhances your lung's capacity to absorb oxygen. Nitric oxide is lethal to bacteria and viruses and is also known to increase oxygen absorption in your lungs from 10-25 percent. This is why it's important to inhale through your nose, especially when you are exercising.
Your smell and taste buds are connected. If you can't breathe well through your nose, then your sense of smell will suffer, which means that your sense of taste will be altered as well. This can lead to appetite and weight issues.
Your nose has vital nervous system connections to your lungs and heart. Not breathing well through your nose can alter your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as to increasing your stress response.
Your nose makes about 2 pints of mucous every day. If your nose isn't working properly and mucous isn't cleared, the stagnant mucous can lead to infections such as sinusitis or ear infections.
Lastly, not breathing well through your nose can aggravate snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. Nasal congestion alone doesn't cause obstructive sleep apnea, but it can definitely aggravate it. If your palate and tongue structures are predisposed to falling back easily due to sleeping on your back and muscle relaxation in deep sleep, then having a stuffy nose can aggravate further collapse downstream. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
Steven Y. Park, M.D., author of Sleep, Interrupted: A physician reveals the #1 reason why so many of us are sick and tired. Endorsed by New York Times best-selling authors Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Mark Liponis, and Mary Shomon.