Wellbeing and Prevention
Breathing means life. Man can live several days without food and water, but just a few minutes without breathing. The nose forms the initial part of the respiratory tract and has a protective function when the air enters the body. The surface of the nose is covered with microscopic hair-like projections (cilia), which are constantly moving in the direction of the larynx to remove accumulated impurities. This results in viruses, bacteria, and allergens being “ejected” from the body, thus preventing the development of disease. Every day, 15,000 litres of air are filtered in such way.
If a disease nevertheless occurs, we experience unpleasant sniffling and sneezing. By secreting great amounts of mucus and the reflex of sneezing, our organism removes disease-causing agents from the respiratory tract, which is part of the recovery process.
With these natural mechanisms in the nose, the body protects the respiratory tract from disease and damage. Regular hygiene is vital for their proper functioning. It is particularly important to clean the nose in the morning, in preparation for the day ahead, and before going to sleep, because we breathe through the nose most of the night.
From birth we all have an innate ability to breathe correctly – when healthy babies sleep, their breathing is deep, calm and relaxed. However, this ability is lost over time and adult breathing is often shallow, inconsistent and intermittent.
Every day we breathe in and out on average 22,000 times, and the way we breathe affects our overall physical health. When stressed, our breathing is shallow and uneven, and since the whole body is interconnected, the opposite also applies: shallow and interrupted breathing causes a feeling of anxiety and stress. This means that if we want to feel relaxed, calm and balanced, we need to learn to breathe deeply, calmly and evenly. Proper breathing is always through the nose, except when we have health problems. Most people breathe air only into the middle and the upper parts of the lungs, so it never reaches the lower lungs. Proper breathing starts from the stomach, moves through the middle of the lungs and ends in the upper part of the lungs.
Breathing involves 12 sets of muscles for inhalation and exhalation, and breathing is more than simply a transfer of oxygen from the atmosphere into the cells, and carbon dioxide from the cells into the atmosphere. Breathing is the basis of safe and productive exercise. Proper breathing will help you feel relaxed, balanced and happy.
Throat and oral cavity health
The oral cavity and pharynx form the initial part of the digestive system, but they are also part of the respiratory tract.
The feeling of dryness in the mouth comes from an insufficient amount of saliva in the oral cavity, which is often the result of breathing through the mouth when the nose is blocked and can lead to inflammation of the throat. A cause of the dryness can be disturbed functioning of the salivary glands.
Bad breath is an unpleasant topic. It is most commonly caused by food residue among the teeth, dead cells on the tongue, inappropriate oral cavity hygiene and insufficient secretion of saliva. Smoking and consumption of alcohol or spicy food can worsen the condition.
The pain in the throat can be a consequence of pharyngitis or tonsillitis. The dominant symptom of acute inflammations is pain in the throat which is intensified by swallowing and caused by bacteria or viruses. In chronic inflammations, the pain is less intense but long lasting, and often accompanied by a dry cough. It is usually caused by chronic nasal obstruction, dry air, exposure to dust or connected to inflammations of neighbouring organs, such as the paranasal sinuses.
Inflammation of the oral cavity can be caused by thermal or mechanical stimuli as a result of taking hot or hard food, but also by pathogen micro-organisms, bacteria or viruses. Burning, increased saliva secretion, aphthae or tiny ulcers are some of the symptoms that usually arise during such inflammations.
The ear canal has a very important protective role. Inside it the air is warmed up, thus protecting the middle ear from sudden temperature changes. Tiny hairs, sensitive skin and a twisted structure prevent foreign bodies from entering the ear canal. Glands secrete ear wax (cerumen) that covers the ear canal’s skin and also has a protective function. Ear wax comes out of the ear canal. Because of its yellowish-brown colour, it is not pleasing to the human eye and the widely accepted way of removing it is by using a cotton swab. But in doing so, the ear wax is pushed back, causing the formation of a cerumen blockage and leading to the blocking up of the ear canal with dried cerumen.
Particularly prone to this unpleasant condition are people working in a dusty environment, people that wear hearing aids, older people, as well as children because they often play in sand, dirt or dust.
Isotonised seawater reduces the possibility of a cerumen blockage forming and makes it easier to remove, without damaging the gentle skin of the ear canal. Therefore it can be recommended for daily ear hygiene.
Babies and small children
Blocked nose represents a problem for babies because they cannot breathe through the mouth. The baby sneezes reflexively to occasionally clean its nose, but in the case of a blocked nose, this is not enough. Regular breathing is important for the baby’s growth and development, as well as for its normal feeding and a quiet night’s sleep, which is why daily hygiene of the nose is particularly important for babies.
During the first few months of life, a child does not know how to blow its nose, so parental help in performing hygiene is usually needed until the age of 4 or 5 years. When teaching a child how to blow its nose, cover its nose with a paper tissue, press one nostril and instruct the child to close its mouth and blow. Repeat the procedure with the other nostril closed. It is important to clean the nose regularly, at least every morning and evening. For easier cleaning, use Aqua Maris spray before the procedure. Teaching your child proper nasal hygiene from the earliest age reduces the occurrence of respiratory diseases!
We live in a world of ecological pollution. Industry and traffic poison the air, leaving large cities wrapped in clouds of smog. Scientists are recording a significant increase in allergies and other respiratory tract diseases.
In closed rooms with air conditioning or central heating, the air is dry and it can be difficult to breathe. A dried nose is more sensitive to viruses and bacteria because its natural defense mechanisms are threatened. Smokers are particularly at risk!
For best results, use the Aqua Maris nasal spray throughout the year. Research has shown that its continuous application helps the natural processes of removing harmful particles, viruses and bacteria from the nose, thus reducing the risk of upper respiratory tract infections!
- Munkholm et al. Mucociliary clearance: pathophysiological aspects. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging (2014) 34, pp171–177
- Addey et al. Incidence, causes, severity and treatment of throat discomfort: a four-region online questionnaire survey. BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders 2012, 12:9
- Chirico et al. Nasal congestion in infants and children: a Literature review on efficacy and safety of non-pharmacological treatments. Minerva Pediatr. 2014;66:549-57
- Coates et al. Nasal Obstruction in the Neonate and Infant. cpj.sagepub.com Florida International Univ. 2015