I’ve got a 7-year-old daughter whom I discovered is a mouth-breather after I took the Buteyko teacher training a year ago. And it’s not like I realized it the week I got back. It took me some time to notice, mostly because she doesn’t have asthma and allergies like I do.
In her case, because of stressful circumstances at her birth, her sympathetic "fight-or-flight" nervous system has always been overly engaged, which probably started her hyperventilating as an infant. Also, I was a mouth-breather at the time and so was her dad, so that’s what we were modeling.
Health-wise, she’s got digestive issues and a learning disability – both of which can be explained by the Buteyko model of chronic hidden hyperventilation and the conditions that it causes.
There are a couple other kids who have been in my daughter’s class who have overt symptoms of chronic hidden hyperventilation also. One girl has had severe eczema following the contentious divorce of her parents. Another boy has asthma, allergies and anxiety. His mother told me he has gotten chronic colds ever since contracting an untimely respiratory infection when he was three months old.
My own story with asthma started when I was four years old, after my father mysteriously disappeared. We never saw him again.
Hyperventilation = over-breathing = mouth-breathing (because we can take more air in through our mouth). I've just presented four examples of the cycle starting for four different reasons after something mentally or physically uncomfortable started happening. That's what this blog post has turned out to be about -- the personal cost and toll of ill health that seems so unfair when it affects children we love.
Once a child starts mouth-breathing for any reason, he or she, like an adult, becomes a candidate for the whole spectrum of hyperventilation-related disorders, including asthma, allergies, anxiety, snoring and sleep apnea.
Over-breathing means paradoxically that insufficient oxygen reaches the cells, including the brain. During development, that’s not good.
Mouth-breathing also means that the tongue is not in its proper position at the roof of the mouth to ensure proper jaw development. Read braces will probably be necessary if this is not turned around by age 8. Not to mention a higher possibility of snoring and sleep apnea because of skewed growth of the whole upper division of the respiratory system, including the nasal cavity, the oral cavity, and the pharynx and larynx in the throat.
So why not start nose-breathing? It’s free, there’s no downside risk, and you can start practicing right now. You’ve got all the equipment!Other posts in this series include:
·Is a stuffed nose keeping you from nose breathing? Click here to download our free report "5 Tools To Keep Your Nose Clear" right now!
In : Kids' Breathing
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