Breathing through your nose: 7 reasons you should always breathe in through your nose

People with chronic or acute respiratory disease often breathe through their mouth. Healthy people also tend to switch from nasal to mouth breathing at even the slightest exertion. This is something everyone should avoid doing.

Advantages of breathing through your nose

Because breathing through your nose has many benefits and is healthier than breathing through your mouth.

1. Cleaning the air you breathe to protect your lungs

Your nose has a built in immunological filter function to protect your lungs. Because almost all dirt particles, dust and tiny insects in the air are unable to travel past the tiny hairs in the nostrils. This means they are filtered out at the first step in the respiratory system and cannot reach the deeper areas of the lungs where they could cause harm.

Many of the smaller particles such as bacteria, viruses, fungal spores or flower pollen cannot pass the moist mucosal membranes inside the nose so they are also kept out of the lungs.

2. Warming the air

Cold outdoor air is warmed by the nose and enters the cold-sensitive lungs at the ideal temperature. Here, the colder the outdoor air, the stronger the blood supply to the mucosal membranes, and the more the air you breathe is heated. This is especially the case in autumn and winter when the temperature is low. In people with chronic lung disease and sensitive bronchial tubes, cold air can trigger tightness in the chest, shortness of breath and the urge to cough.

3. Moistening the air you breathe

Breathing through your nose also means that the air your inhale has the ideal moisture content. This is achieved on the one hand by the layer of mucus covering the membranes in the nose and on the other hand, by the branched passages in the nose, through which the air flows.

4. Protective mechanism: Smelling dangers in the air and food

The nose is also home to the olfactory membranes containing the olfactory receptors. These warn us, for instance, if there is a bad smell that there may be a harmful substance in the air we are breathing. We automatically hold our breath. We can also smell if food has gone off.

5. Less urge to cough

The benefits of breathing through your nose already addressed (protecting the bronchial mucosal membrane from drying out, cooling and dirt) reduces the torturous urge to cough.

6. Breathing calms faster after exertion

It is also better to breathe through your nose rather than your mouth during or after exertion. Breathing through your nose helps your breathing to calm sooner. Always try to switch to breathing through your nose as fast as possible, even if you have just exerted yourself and you have to breathe harder – for example after sport, climbing the stairs or similar activities.

7. Reducing the risk of lung disease

Breathing through your nose is healthier than breathing through your mouth. If you always breathe through your mouth (chronic mouth breather), this can damage the mucosal membranes of your airways and lungs. It also means that more contaminants enter the airways, because pathogens are no longer transported away, which increases the risk of lung disease.

Clearing your nose

If your nose is chronically blocked and you cannot breathe through it, you should see a doctor to find out why.

The following methods can help clear your nose:

  1. Using a nasal douche soothes the mucous membranes in the nose and helps to transport large amounts of firmly lodged secretions and crusts from the nose. But do not make the saline solution for the nasal irrigation yourself; there is a risk of getting the wrong salt concentration, which can lead to pain during and after nasal irrigation.

    It is better to use ready-made solutions, such as the PARI Montesol nasal rinse. Here, not only is the mixing ratio right, but the solution is also germ-free and contains other ingredients that soothe the mucosal membranes of the nose.
  2. Steam inhalation, but BE CAREFUL: Risk of scalding
  3. Breathing through your nose with the PARI SINUS2 is a special treatment for the nostrils. The device produces a fine particle spectrum and pulsating pressure. This allows the inhalation solution to reach even the narrow sinuses, which it moistens and where it breaks down the secretions.

More tips about nasal health

Note: The information in this blog post is not a treatment recommendation. The needs of patients vary greatly from person to person. The treatment approaches presented should be viewed only as examples. PARI recommends that patients always consult with their physician or physiotherapist first.

An article written by the PARI BLOG editorial team.

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