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Monday, July 17, 2017
Mouth breathing usually starts as a response to some obstruction in your nasal airway. Avoiding irritants and getting a saline nasal wash can help you rein in allergies that cause a stuffy nose. Having yogurt, turmeric powder, and Benifuuki green tea can work as well. The Buteyko breathing method, myofunctional therapy, getting biofeedback, and using oral devices like chin strips and vestibular shields can help you shift to nasal breathing. In some cases, surgically removing nasal obstructions like enlarged adenoids or tonsils is recommended.
Mouth breathing usually starts as a response to some kind of nasal obstruction. Common culprits that can obstruct your nasal airways include allergic rhinitis, enlarged tonsils, enlarged adenoids, nasal polyps, and a deviated nasal septum. Clearing your nasal obstruction can thus solve the problem of mouth breathing in many cases. However, sometimes, people may continue to breathe through the mouth even after their nasal passages have been cleared because they’ve become accustomed to it. Therapeutic exercises can then be useful in helping shift to the nasal mode of breathing.2
Ways To Stop Mouth BreathingHere are some things you can do to stop mouth breathing.
1. Deal With Structural ObstructionsYour doctor can help treat any structural issues that are obstructing nasal breathing. For instance, nasal polyps and swollen tonsils or adenoids can be surgically removed. Meanwhile, if the structure of your face or mouth is too narrow, expansion appliances can be used to increase the width of the sinuses and your nasal passages.3
2. Tackle Your Stuffy NoseA common cold or allergies can block your nose and lead to mouth breathing. Here are some things you can do to clear your nasal passage.
Avoid AllergensAllergic rhinitis develops when you’re exposed to something like pollen, animal dander, or dust. One of simplest ways of dealing with this is by avoiding allergens. Try taking these measures:
- Pollen levels are higher on hot, windy, dry days. Stay indoors and keep your windows closed if possible during these times. Using an air conditioner can also be helpful.
- Dust can stick to carpets and fabric. It might be better to use leather, wooden, or vinyl furniture and avoid upholstered furniture and carpets. Also, use mite proof covers on pillows and bedding. It also makes sense to wash your pillows and bedding weekly in water that’s between 54.4°C to 60°C in temperature.
- Mold can grow on wallpaper, carpets, fabrics, books etc. when it’s damp. Try using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to get rid of mold present in the air. Also, use exhaust fans to lower moisture levels in areas like bathrooms that tend to be damp. 4 5
Get A Nasal WashA saline nasal wash can clear mucus and wash away irritants from your nasal passage.6
How to use: You can get a saline spray at the pharmacy or make your own. Simply mix half a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda into a cup of warm water and use this solution to wash out your nasal passages.
Use TurmericTurmeric, the exotic spice, can help you deal with allergies. It inhibits the release of histamine, a chemical that is released by our bodies during allergic reactions and causes symptoms like sneezing and a runny nose.7 Traditionally, Southeast Asian communities have also used turmeric to tackle nose clogging colds and coughs. Curcumin, a compound present in turmeric, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to be responsible for these beneficial properties.
How to use: Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of milk and boil. Drink this healing remedy twice or thrice a day. 8
Have YogurtA cup of yogurt can help you deal with pollen allergies as well as prevent colds.9 Yogurt can also lessen the duration and severity of respiratory tract infections which cause a blocked nose. 10 Beneficial bacteria (probiotics) present in yogurt are considered to be responsible for these health-promoting properties.
How to use: Include a cup of yogurt in your daily diet.
Drink Benifuuki Green TeaA variety of green tea from Japan known as Benifuuki has O-methylated catechin. This compound exhibits powerful anti-allergic effects and strongly inhibit the release of histamine. In one study, people who were allergic to pollen experienced relief from symptoms like stuffy nose and itchy eyes when they had Benifuuki green tea.11
3. Try The Buteyko Breathing MethodThe Buteyko Method, developed Dr Konstantin Buteyko, has breathing exercises which can be helpful in opening your nasal airways. It details breath-holding exercises to unblock your nose and reduced breathing exercises which help to set your breathing volume at a normal level. This way, you retrain your breathing so it’s optimal.12
Here’s an exercise to decongest your nose:
- Take in and let out a small breath through your nose.
- Now pinch your nose to restrict breath and walk as many paces as comfortably possible.
- Resume breathing through your nose, taking care to calm your breath and stop taking in excess air as soon as possible.
- Repeat the exercise 5 to 6 times, leaving about a minute in between each exercise cycle.