my blood pressure lowers when i breath through my nose, why? and what can i do?
August 1, 2008 1:16 PM   Subscribe

28 yr old male borderline hypertensive. a question about breathing. - so my bp numbers border on hypertensive. and i routinely check my blood pressure. the numbers are consistently int he systolic 130s range EXCEPT when i do this one thing: - breath through my nose then my bp systolic lowers by about 10 pts. here's the thing. my nose ALWASY gets clogged and it makes breathing regularly through my nose difficult - anyone else heard how breathing thorugh the nose, and then taking less breaths lowers blood pressure? i could see how they are connectd
posted by learninguntilidie to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How do you unclog your nose?

Nasal spray? Could it be that the nasal spray is affecting your blood pressure?
posted by Class Goat at 1:21 PM on August 1, 2008

IANAD, and am giving you guesses instead of knowledge, but try this:
Over the duration of one bp measurement, when you need to breath in, do so quickly, and when exhaling, do so very slowly over a long period of time, so that during the reading, you are spending much more time with air going out than with air going in.
Then reverse that - take a measurement in which you're predominantly breathing in, exhaling quickly.

Your heart beats more when inhaling, and takes it easier when exhaling. It wouldn't surprise me if things like capillary tension were similarly affected (I wouldn't know). The extent of the heartrate contrast differs between people, and for most, this isn't very noticeable, but perhaps this sort of thing might be at play here - if your nose is restricting your airflow, it could be changing the duty cycle of your breathing, and it's an easy thing to play around with and see if it affects your results.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:49 PM on August 1, 2008

yes i use a nasal spray it has sodium chloride in it .
posted by learninguntilidie at 2:02 PM on August 1, 2008

if you border on hypertensive, be careful what kind of nasal spray you use or check with your doctor. many kinds of nasal sprays actually increase your bp.
posted by msconduct at 3:25 PM on August 1, 2008

You might want to take a look at this thing... Stress Eraser. I my experience it teaches you how to breath "correctly" to reduce stress and, for all intents and purposes, reduce your blood pressure. Doesn't much matter whether you breath through you mouth or nose.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:15 PM on August 1, 2008

Did you know that you can use breathing exercises to unclog your nose?. And the best way to stop it from clogging again it to keep breathing through your nose. My personal experience is that this works very effectively.
posted by tomcooke at 1:47 AM on August 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

thanks for the advice all!
posted by learninguntilidie at 3:26 AM on August 2, 2008

The Breathing Book is great.
posted by callmejay at 5:40 AM on August 2, 2008

From my limited understanding of yoga and noses, breathing through your nose helps you inflate your lungs more. more air more oxygen, more blood flow. Also I think just focusing on breathing helps relax and focus your mind slowing your heartrate and bringing the blood pressure down.

As for the stuffed nose, you can also try a neti pot.
posted by wrnealis at 4:22 PM on August 2, 2008

A prolonged inhalation is a vagal maneuver. Blowing through a straw forcefully for 20 seconds is a Valsalva's maneuver. Stimulating the vagus nerve causes a decrease in heart rate. In general, increasing vagal tone tips the balance of the autonomic nervous system from the sympathetic ("fight or flight") to the parasympathetic ("rest and digest"). Another vagal maneuver is pressing on your eyelids and pushing back the eyeballs.
posted by ebellicosa at 5:08 PM on August 2, 2008

oops, I meant prolonged exhalation, not inhalation.
posted by ebellicosa at 5:09 PM on August 2, 2008

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