Did you know that “Your lungs do have to work harder at accessing the oxygen in the air that you’re breathing in through your mouth versus your nose.”
In trying to find pertinent news regarding transformation, I had to sift through 100's of covid related articles until I came across this gem, from Allison Hirschlag via Medium/Elemental.
As frequent practitioner of yoga, I can attest to the first few sessions I attended, that it was challenging to continuously be breathing through the nose, especially after three downward dogs and 3 chatarungas, but after a while you begin to realize how much more affective it becomes to breath in through the nose. Before you know it you begin to understand why parents for generations have said to breath through your nose for a couple deep breaths, to calm down or when lacking patience with your 5 and 7 year old who will not go to bed.
In this curated article, Allison points out numerous benefits of breathing through your nose and we believe it is beneficial for business owners, parents, and all of us right now who just need to calm down and take a deep breath, through the nose of course.
Breathing easily has always been a vital part of well-being. Thanks to the pandemic, however, this simple biological function has been compromised for many infected people, and remains threatened for everyone else who’s susceptible to getting Covid-19.
But what if changing the way you breathe could potentially help protect you from the very thing that threatens your ability to breathe? That’s one theory some experts are suggesting. It has to do with the simple physiology of the nose, and the chemical compound nitric oxide (NO).
Aside from filtering, warming, and humidifying the air you breathe, the nose is your first line of defense against allergens and pathogens. The mucus and cilia inside are designed to block these outside invaders from going farther down the respiratory tract and making you sick. And NO, which is what the sinuses release when you breathe through your nose, is a vasodilator, meaning it relaxes the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
Doctors have been giving NO gas to people long before Covid-19 to help improve lung function in critically ill people suffering from adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), according to Albert Rizzo, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the American Lung Association. There are currently 11 clinical trials in the U.S. and Canada testing whether administering NO can improve recovery time of people with Covid-19 by boosting oxygen levels. The gas may also help fight respiratory tract infections like Covid-19 by inactivating viruses and inhibiting their replication.
Several studies, including one from 2004 that focused on the effects of inhaling NO on the SARS coronavirus, have shown that the compound has antiviral properties. A recent analysis of 45 relevant studies supports this oxygenation boosting effect that North American researchers are trying to demonstrate. It also notes that naturally produced NO from nasal breathing seems to have similar antiviral effects. For example, one discussed study found that humans who exhale more NO have fewer common cold symptoms, which suggests that nasally-produced NO may help protect humans from other respiratory viruses like Covid-19.
“Your lungs do have to work harder at accessing the oxygen in the air that you’re breathing in through your mouth versus your nose.”
Conversely, habitual mouth breathing may actually increase susceptibility to the virus as well as its level of severity, according to the May analysis. It states that mouth breathing during sleep may worsen the symptoms of Covid-19, just as it worsens other respiratory illnesses like the common cold and the flu.
“You do lose some of the benefit of the filtering mechanisms and potentially some of the triggering of the immune system that might be triggered by particles that go through the membranes of the nose,” says Rizzo.