Woman expanding her lungs and breathing fresh air
Woman expanding her lungs and breathing fresh air



Every time you breathe in, or inhale, your diaphragm contracts (tightens) and moves down in your chest. This causes the space in your chest cavity to expand, allowing your lungs to increase in size. As you expand your lungs, you’re sucking air through your nose or mouth, which then travels down your windpipe into your lungs. From there, the air passes through your bronchial tubes, before finally reaching the alveoli, which are tiny air sacs. Through the thin walls of the alveoli, oxygen passes to the surrounding capillaries, also known as blood vessels. The oxygen-rich blood from your lungs is carried through a network of capillaries to the pulmonary veins. These veins work to deliver the oxygen-rich blood to the left side of your heart. From there, the heart pumps oxygenated blood to the rest of your body. 

When you breathe out, your diaphragm relaxes and moves back into an upwards position in your chest cavity. As the space in your chest cavity becomes smaller, air rich in carbon dioxide is forced out of your lungs and windpipe, which is then released through your nose or mouth.

Your nose plays a vital role in your breathing as it is the main opening for your respiratory system. Your nose inhales air into your body through the nostrils. Your nostrils are guarded by cilia—bristle-like hairs which prevent particles from entering the nasal passages. A healthy nose will filter the air you are breathing in, so when it enters your lungs it’s warm and properly humidified. This protects the delicate lung tissue from cold, dry air and prevents it from being damaged by small particles like dust and pollen.

Many different factors can have an impact on your breathing, such as participating in physical activity or the quality of the air you are breathing. Both are natural physiological reactions you shouldn’t worry about. However, if your nose isn’t functioning properly due to illness, you’re likely to experience issues with your breathing that can cause discomfort and trouble getting a proper night’s sleep.

When you’re dealing with nasal congestion, a blocked nose, sinus symptoms, a stuffy or drippy nose or whatever else those around you may call it, the blood vessels in your nose are engorged, inflamed, and irritated. This causes mucus to accumulate that can be runny or dry. Other common problems include sinus blockage, or repeated infections, a deviated nasal septum, and narrow nasal and sinus passageways.2 A nasal spray is good for helping sinus congestion, but they’re not all created equally.

To restore the normal function of your nose and relieve sinus congestion, try using an effective and fast acting nasal decongestant or nasal spray. Try Otrivin Sea Water Spray or Otrivin Medicated Nasal Spray to find a solution to breathe better quickly, with formulations made for both babies and adults.

Click here to learn more about Otrivin nasal sprays


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