We all know how annoying mouth breathing can be. Whether it’s someone near you breathing loudly or whether it’s you whose nose is blocked up and unable to breathe clearly. With the cold weather in full effect, that means a rise in runny noses, sinus congestion, and seasonal colds. So what can all of this mouth breathing do to your health?
To begin with, when you can’t breathe through your nose, your sense of smell becomes stifled. Not being able to smell can be irritating, but because your sense of smell and taste buds are connected, it can become harder to taste too. When your smell and taste senses are limited, your appetite and satiation levels can become distorted. This can greatly affect someone with dietary struggles or weight problems.
The next issue that arises when we don’t breathe through our noses is limiting a gas called nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, while sounding a bit scary, is actually really beneficial to our respiratory system. Our noses and sinus mucous membranes make this gas, and when it is inhaled, it helps our lungs absorb oxygen, which then increases the oxygen absorption in our lungs by 10-25%. Not only does it help us absorb oxygen, but it also can kill bacteria, viruses, and other germs. Depriving ourselves of this gas can cause a lot of health concerns. In fact, nitric oxide has been found to help memory and behavior, assist the immune system in fighting off bacteria, regulate blood pressure, reduce inflammation, improve sleep quality, increase endurance and strength, and assist in gastric motility. On top of all of that, nitric oxide has shown to have cardiovascular benefits. When we mouth-breathe, we deprive ourselves of this gas that is so beneficial to our bodies.
Speaking of cardiovascular benefits, there is a vital nervous system that connects our lungs and heart to our noses. Mouth breathing can have adverse effects on our cardiovascular health such as altered heart rates, blood pressure and an increase in stress responses.
Next on our list is mucous. Did you know that our noses make two pints of mucous a day? If that seems like a lot, that’s because it is! Especially if we aren’t able to properly clear that mucous. Our bodies are made to push this mucous through, thanks to regular nose breathing, and we don’t even give it a second thought. If we are unable to breathe through our noses, we may experience a buildup of mucous, and when this happens, problems like bad breath, sinusitis, and ear infections can occur.
Lastly on our list, have you ever tried to sleep but someone’s snoring is keeping you awake? Maybe it’s even your own. When you are unable to breathe through your nose, snoring can occur or become heightened. For individuals who already suffer from sleep apnea this can greatly aggravate the problem. Obstructive sleep apnea can create a whole wave of problems that can affect our health. Obstructive sleep apnea can take mental and physical tolls on us. Some of the mental problems that can arise are depression and anxiety; the physical problems however are a longer list, which consists of heart disease, heart attack and/or stroke, weight gain, and high blood pressure.
Mouth breathing is not difficult to fix once it is brought to our attention. It’s important to know where the issue stems from. Is it a habit that you got into and never realized, or is it caused by discomfort when breathing through the nose?
If your mouth breathing is caused by discomfort due to seasonal issues, we recommend trying Xlear Nasal Spray. Our nasal spray can help clean and moisturize the nasal airway, allowing you to breathe better.
Find Xlear at a store near you. Breathe better with Xlear.