The beneficial effect of nasal breathing on exercise-induced bronchoconstriction

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1978 Jul;118(1):65-73. doi: 10.1164/arrd.1978.118.1.65.


In the first step of a study of the relation of nasal and oral breathing during moderate treadmill exercise to the onset of bronchoconstriction in young patients with perennial bronchial asthma, it was observed that most subjects spontaneously breathed with their mouths open when instructed to breathe "naturally." Subsequently, when they were required to breathe only through the nose during the exercise, an almost complete inhibition of the postexercise bronchoconstrictive airway response was demonstrated. When instructed to breathe only through the mouth during exercise, an increased bronchoconstrictive airway response occurred, as measured by spirometry, flow-volume relationships, and body plethysmography. These findings suggest that the nasopharynx and the oropharynx play important roles in the phenomenon of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Bronchial Spasm / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology
  • Lung Volume Measurements
  • Male
  • Mouth Breathing / complications
  • Mouth Breathing / physiopathology
  • Nose / physiopathology*
  • Physical Exertion*