A reader wrote with the following information and question:
"Comments: I was told to breath through the nose to improve oxygenation levels. I was also told that using breathe right strips at night will actually decrease the percentage of oxygen inhaled and thus actually decrease body oxygenation levels. Therefore, they should only be used if there is nasal congestion. Can you verify if this is true?"
Dear reader, while breathing through the nose is highly touted by many, both lay persons and professionals, it is not critical for many of the reasons folks give for its benefit. The air we breathe has a finite and constant amount of oxygen in it. When we breathe 'in', we get the same amount of oxygen as is contained in the air, ALL the time, regardless of by what 'pathway' that air comes in - the nose, or the mouth, or both at the same time. One will not get "more" oxygen by breathing through their nose than they will by breathing through their mouth.
By the same token, using Breathe Right strips cannot possibly alter the oxygen contained in the air we breathe. So, the notion that Breathe Right strips will do anything - be it increase OR decrease the amount of oxygen one takes in - is simply not based in fact. Breath Right strips are not restricted for use ONLY by those who suffer from nasal congestion. That is another misconception. Many folks suffer from a number of problems that cause the passages of their nose to be smaller than they will if they use Breathe Right strips. The purpose of Breathe Right strips is to simply open up, to expand the nasal passages so that air may move through with less resistance and effort. It is a comfort-producing device; nothing more and nothing less.
Depending upon what you are doing at a given moment, breathing through the nose might be the most comfortable pathway for you. Certainly, during exercise and walking, when you work harder to breathe AND breathing in or out through the nose is most uncomfortable, not to mention unnatural-feeling, breathing through your mouth is perfectly fine. So, don't let folks get you hung up on trying to breathe through one pathway or another. Whichever is most comfortable for the circumstances is what you should feel free to do. Either way, you will get plenty of oxygen and no different amount from one way of breathing over the other.
MarkRTMember Since 24 Mar 2012
Offline Last Active May 04 2013 08:16 AM
- Group Members
- Active Posts 26 (0.04 per day)
- Most Active In Ask the RT - Respiratory Therapist (21 posts)
- Profile Views 495
- Member Title Member
- Age Age Unknown
- Birthday Birthday Unknown