How To Widen Nasal Passages Naturally: 5 Ways


If you’re like most people, you don’t spend too much time thinking about your nasal passages. In fact, they probably only get your attention when they are not functioning optimally, like when you are sick or otherwise congested.


However, nasal passages play a vital role in respiration and overall health. Not only do they allow for maximum oxygen intake, but nasal passages also filter out foreign particles and other contaminants to keep us healthy.


Blocked or narrow nasal passages can cause problems such as snoring, sleep apnea, poor oral health, and fatigue. Luckily, there are ways to widen your nasal passages and remedy this issue.


Key Takeaways

  • Nasal breathing offers a variety of benefits including improved sleep, immunity, and cardiovascular health.


  • When your nasal passages are narrow or congested, you are more likely to breathe through your mouth.


  • Mouth breathing is associated with numerous problems such as dry mouth, snoring, and sleep apnea.


  • Widening your nasal passages promotes nasal breathing and discourages mouth breathing.


  • You can widen your nasal passages naturally for better sleep and overall health.


Can Nasal Passages Be Widened? 


Nasal passages can be widened via both surgical and non-surgical means. Which method is right for you depends on whether you have an underlying health condition that is causing your nasal passages to narrow.


For example, structural issues like a deviated septum or nasal valve collapse may require medical intervention, like surgery.


However, most people are able to widen their nasal passages with natural methods they can try at home such as mouth tape. 


This article will discuss the benefits of widening your nasal passages and outline 5 natural ways to achieve these benefits without surgery. 


Benefits of Widening Your Nasal Passages


Widening your nasal passages increases airflow and reduces congestion so you can breathe more easily.


This provides a range of benefits such as improved sleep, decreased fatigue, and enhanced athletic performance. Here are just a few of the benefits of widening your nasal passages:


Benefit #1: Improved sleep 


Narrow nasal passages can cause snoring or sleep apnea, disrupting sleep.


Widening your nasal passages can reduce or eliminate these conditions, allowing you to sleep uninterrupted. 


It does this through various means including a reduction in nasal inflammation and congestion, improving airflow and allowing the body to enter into deeper sleep stages.


Deep sleep is essential for restorative functions such as muscle and tissue repair, memory consolidation, hormone regulation, and immunity.


As an added bonus, spending more time in deep sleep also means you will have more energy during the day!



Benefit #2: Immunity


Your nasal passages play an important role in protecting your body from infection and illness.


The hairs in your nose filter out dust and foreign particles and nasal mucus traps bacteria and viruses. 


When you have a nasal obstruction or the passageways are congested, you are more likely to resort to mouth breathing, inhaling these contaminants and increasing your risk of infection, asthma, and allergies.


Widening your nasal passages facilitates nasal breathing and reduces your exposure to germs, allergens, and other pollutants.


It also helps to keep the lining of your respiratory system moist and healthy, making it more difficult for germs and viruses to take hold.


Finally, widening your nasal passages facilitates the production of nitric oxide, a gas that has been shown to have antiviral and antibacterial properties.


Benefit #3: Better oral health


Mouth breathing decreases the amount of available saliva in your mouth, which can lead to a variety of oral health issues.


Saliva helps to neutralize acids and wash away food particles, preventing tooth decay.


Mouth breathing dries out the mouth, short-circuiting these protective processes and creating the ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.


Widening your nasal passages reduces mouth breathing, facilitating saliva production and promoting optimal oral health.


When you can breathe fully and comfortably through your nose, your mouth stays moist and healthy.


Your saliva flushes out acids that can erode your tooth enamel and your nasal passages reduce the amount of bacteria that enter the mouth.


Collectively, these processes lower your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. 


Benefit #4: Enhanced athletic performance


When you participate in high-intensity sports or other forms of exercise, your body’s oxygen requirements increase.


Widening your nasal passages increases blood flow to the nose, enabling greater oxygen absorption.


The increased oxygen supply to your muscles and lungs allows you to exercise better and longer.


In addition, widening your nasal passages reduces the production of the lactic acid that causes muscle cramps and fatigue.


Finally, widening your nasal passages increases nasal airflow, helping to keep your head cool during exercise.


A 2007 study of endurance cyclists found that head cooling decreased athletes’ perception of fatigue, allowing them to exercise over 50 percent longer. 


Benefit #5: Cardiovascular health


Remember nitric oxide, the gas that is produced when you breathe through your nose?


In addition to acting as a natural antibiotic, nitric oxide helps to dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and circulation.


Your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your organs and tissues, so your blood pressure and heart rate are more likely to stay in a healthy range.


In addition, nitric oxide has been shown to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.


Widening your nasal passages facilitates nasal breathing, promoting nitric oxide production and improving cardiovascular health. 



5 Ways to Widen Your Nasal Passages Naturally


Ready to start reaping the benefits of wider nasal passages? There are several effective, non-invasive methods you can try.


Here are 5 ways to widen your nasal passages naturally so you can breathe easier and live healthier!




Method #1: Nasal irrigation


One way to naturally widen your nasal passages is with nasal irrigation or a sinus rinse. Nasal irrigation involves flushing out the nasal passages with a saline (saltwater) solution. 


This process removes blockages like mucus, allergens, and other irritants, naturally widening your nasal passages by reducing congestion. 


Nasal irrigation is usually performed with a spray bottle or neti pot. It is an inexpensive, easy-to-use method that has no known risks.


However, it can take time to get the hang of this method, and some people find nasal irrigation to be uncomfortable or unpleasant.


Additionally, nasal irrigation may not be suitable for people with certain medical conditions such as chronic nosebleeds.


Finally, this method requires you to regularly clean and sterilize the irrigation equipment to prevent infection.


Method #2: Nasal strips


Breathing strips are another popular and non-invasive option for widening nasal passages.


Flexible adhesive strips are placed on the outside of the nose to gently lift and open the airways.


By reducing the resistance to airflow, breathing strips allow for easier, more comfortable nasal breathing.


Anyone can use this method, even those with structural issues like a deviated septum. When used properly, breathing strips can improve sleep quality, reduce snoring, and alleviate congestion.


However, there are also a few potential drawbacks to using breathing strips. Some people may experience skin irritation or discomfort from the adhesive.


Additionally, while breathing strips facilitate nasal breathing, they do not effectively prevent you from breathing through your mouth.


For this reason, they may provide limited benefits or relief.


Method #3: Breathing exercises


Some breathing exercises can widen your nasal passages.


For example, doctors recommend gently pinching your nose, holding your breath for as long as you can, and nodding your head up and down to clear nasal congestion. 


Research suggests that dilating or flaring your nostrils can also effectively widen your nasal passages. You can repeat the exercise as long as needed.


These exercises are a safe and non-invasive way to improve nasal airflow. They can be done anywhere, anytime, and require no special equipment or training.


However, this method requires consistent practice to see results.


Moreover, the efficacy of breathing exercises varies depending on the individual, and some people might not notice a significant change. 


Method #4: Essential oils


Essential oils are highly concentrated, aromatic liquids extracted from plants. Oils such as eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oil can be used to widen your nasal passages.


The most popular method is adding a few oil drops to hot water and inhaling the steam. This helps to reduce congestion in the nasal passages so you can breathe more effectively.


Other ways of using essential oils include applying them directly to the outside of your nose or using an essential oil diffuser. Essential oils are natural and easy to use.


However, the quality of essential oils can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and some people experience allergic reactions to specific oils. If you have sensitive skin, essential oils may not be for you.


Method #5: Physical activity


Engaging in regular physical activity helps to improve overall respiratory function, allowing for better airflow through the nasal passages.


Exercise can also help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, including in the nasal passages.


A 2006 study showed that people who participated in aerobic exercise showed a significant increase in nasal volume immediately after the activity.


However, their nasal passages returned to normal 20 minutes post-activity, indicating that the nasal widening benefits of exercise may be temporary.


In addition, people with exercise-induced asthma may actually find it harder to breathe through their noses during vigorous physical activity.


So, while exercise provides numerous health benefits, it won't be an option to relieve your mouth breathing symptoms, especially if your main objective is permanently widening your nasal passages.


Method # 6: Mouth tape


Mouth tape is a lightweight, hypoallergenic adhesive tape that you place over your mouth at bedtime.


This encourages nasal breathing, promotes relaxation, and reduces the incidence of snoring and sleep apnea. 


With consistent use, mouth tape can help naturally widen your nasal passages. In addition, mouth tape has received attention from the medical community for its potential to improve the quality and duration of REM sleep, a critical phase of the sleep cycle.


Among other things, REM sleep is crucial for memory consolidation, emotion regulation, and problem-solving.


Of all the ways to naturally widen your nasal passages, mouth tape is the only one that effectively prohibits mouth breathing.


It is cost-effective and easy to use, and since it works while you sleep, it requires no additional time commitment!


The tape is designed to be gentle on the skin while still being strong enough to hold the mouth closed.


Mouth tape is typically made from silicone or paper combined with medical-grade adhesive, but Dream Tape is different,


Dream Tape is a unique type of mouth tape that is made from eco-friendly bamboo silk, an ultra-comfortable fabric with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. 


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Do Breathing Exercises Really Work for Nasal Passage Widening?


Some breathing exercises, such as those that involve systematically holding your breath, can help to widen your nasal passages. However, these exercises take time and consistent practice for optimal results.


Final thoughts


When your nasal passages are narrow or congested, you are more likely to breathe through your mouth.


Breathing through your mouth is associated with problems like snoring, sleep apnea, and poor oral health.


Nasal breathing, on the other hand, provides a wide range of health benefits.


By naturally widening the passages of your nose with one or more of the above methods, you can improve sleep, immunity, cardiovascular health, and athletic performance. 


NOTE: This is not medical advice and if you are struggling to clear a blocked nose, we recommend booking an appointment with your Doctor or a local clinic.


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