A woman breathes through her nose

With review and feedback from CEENTA ENT doctor Nicholas Stowell, MD (Concord)

Did you know that nasal breathing has many benefits you just don’t see when breathing through your mouth? Unfortunately, there are also many conditions that can prevent you from breathing properly. CEENTA’s doctors are trained to help you identify the possible causes of obstructed breathing and let you know what possible treatment options are available.

What is nasal breathing?

In its simplest terms, nasal breathing allows the body to maintain more carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 levels must be balanced with oxygen, but breathing through the mouth is commonly too fast and too shallow. This can result in lowering your blood CO2 level, which can result in the narrowing of blood vessels, airways, and nasal passages.

What are the benefits of nasal breathing?

The nose filters out allergens and other particles that could irritate the throat or lungs. Air inhaled through the nose also absorbs moisture more efficiently than mouth breathing, which reduces the chance of dehydration. Mouth breathing, meanwhile, can dry out the mouth and throat.

Shallow mouth breathing can also activate the fight-or-flight response and raise your stress levels. On the other hand, nasal breathing forces you to slow down and relax. This in turn can help with your memory, concentration, and coherence.

Nasal breathing can also lower your blood pressure, better regulate the amount of air you breathe, and improve your lung volume.

Physical impediments to good nasal breathing

Many conditions can impede full nasal breathing. One example is a deviated septum that can cause congestion. People can be born with a deviated septum, but sometimes they are a result of nasal trauma. Mild congestion can be treated with decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal steroid sprays. Sometimes, surgical procedures can be beneficial to help correct a septal deformity.

Other nasal passage deformities like enlarged turbinates and nasal polyps can impede breathing. Medicines can provide relief, but when these are not effective surgical procedures can be helpful.

Illnesses that impede good nasal breathing

Anyone who has had a cold or the flu knows how quickly your nose can become congested. Nasal decongestants can help clear your nose, and running a humidifier regularly can keep your nasal passages moist and assist with drainage.

Chronic sinusitis can also cause nasal breathing problems. Swelling or polyps can develop within the sinus that blocks the nasal airflow. Antibiotics and steroids can be used to treat the infection. Sometimes, chronic sinusitis can only be treated with endoscopic sinus surgery.

Allergies, too, can cause nasal blockage. Getting an allergy test and an appropriate treatment plan can help keep your nose clear and help you breathe easier.

Nasal care at CEENTA

Nicholas Stowell, MD

“The ear, nose and throat specialists at CEENTA have the necessary training and expertise to develop a patient-centered plan to help you breathe better through your nose,” CEENTA ENT doctor Nicholas Stowell, MD, said.

Don’t you want to live a life of better breathing? Schedule an appointment at CEENTA today.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. You can now schedule an appointment online with Dr. Stowell or any of our 150 providers in nearly 20 locations across North and South Carolina. You can also schedule through myCEENTAchart or by calling 704-295-3000.


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