Breathe free and clear in no time—without a trip to the pharmacy. Because there are many healthy reasons to breathe through your nose, and some serious consequences to mouth-breathing. Here’s a partial list:
- Breathing through the mouth has been proven to significantly increase the likelihood of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.
- Mouth breathing can cause bad breath, because of altered bacterial population in the mouth.
- Breathing by mouth results dries the tongue, teeth and gums; consequently, levels of acid in the mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum problems.
- Another undesirable consequence of mouth breathing, especially when asleep, is dehydration – how often do mouth breathing sleepers awake with a dry mouth?
- Some research had drawn connections between mouth breathing and asthma.
- Sports performance can suffer from mouth breathing; when we inhale and exhale through the mouth, oxygen uptake in the lungs can go down.
- There is some research evidence that ADHD is exacerbated by mouth breathing.
- Children who breathe through their mouths are at greater risk of abnormal facial structure, head posture, and impaired respiratory strength.
Whether it’s allergies or a nasty cold, being congested is hard to breathe, the sinus pressure is painful, and it can even affect your hearing. Blowing your nose offers some relief, but in cases where you’re really stuffed up, it can be pretty futile. OTC medicines help dry out mucus but leave users feeling loopy, sleepy, and spaced out. What’s left to do? The next time you’re feeling all stuffed up, try one of this natural remedies-you’ll be breathing free and clear.
Steam It Out
Whether it’s a steam room, hot shower, or a makeshift steam bath over a bowl of hot water, steam helps to loosen mucus and relieve congestion from your nose and chest. Intensify the benefits with the addition of eucalyptus oil, a natural decongestant. Whatever method you use, slowly breathe in the steam for about five minutes and then try blowing your nose and/or coughing. This is usually enough time to break up and loosen the mucus in the body. To aid with sleep, use a humidifier; it helps add moisture to the air, which will thin out mucus in your nasal passages.
Grab a Neti Pot
It might sound a little uncomfortable, but using a neti pot does wonders for relieving nasal congestion and pain-just ask any ear, nose, or throat doctor. Neti pots (in combination with a DIY saline solution) help end nasal congestion by thinning out mucus and built-up crusting in the nose; think of it as a form of nasal irrigation. Still not convinced? Check out these neti pot tips for beginners.
Get On the Mat
From back pain to stress, yoga has the power to lessen the symptoms of a host of ailments-including congestion. This mini yoga sequence helps to open up the chest and get the blood flowing. Soon enough, congestion will be cleared and that sinus headache will be gone.
Eat and Drink the Right Foods
When it comes to relieving congestion, there are some eating dos and don’ts. Do arm yourself with hot liquids like broth and herbal tea; hot liquid combined with steam helps thin out and loosen mucus. Don’t load up on dairy products; casein, the protein present in dairy, has been shown to increase mucus levels in a small section of the population.