Friday, November 17, 2006
I hate mouthbreathers.
I know that this is definately not a post about using digital sources to do historical research, but I really have to say something. While doing some crowd wathcing over lunch this afternoon, I must have counted something like 20 mouthbreathers. Some were even
In the new regime, I am going to put a public tax on mouth-breathers.
Seriously. I think that there are one or two other things that one could do to successfully tell the world that they are barely thinking. Now, before writing this off as just another diatribe- which, admittedly it is- just stop to think about it. Have you not ever seen someone walking on campus with their mouth half open? Haven't you also noticed the fixed-forward stare of these people? Honestly, it looks as though they are asleep on two feet. What's worse, is the dull, glazed-over expression that dominates the face. Why don't these people take a look in the mirror? Moreover: the sound. I swear that whenever I go to a movie theatre, in that moment when the lights go down and the audience quietly awaits the film to start (or, properly, the commercials), I can always hear a cacophany of mouth breathing. That's right. It's this not-quite-a-snore-but-damn-louder-than-NORMAL-breathing sound.
Well, it could just be that they are living down a long evening, or they are suffering through a long day, and they really are starting to fall asleep on their feet. But I doubt that that is always the case. This seems to me to be an abnormality that is fostered by our health-care-centric, lazy, sedentary lifestyle. If people were more active, breathing through their noses would become normal. Yes, it is true that you can draw more air through your mouth. So when you are exercising it makes sense to inhale through the mouth. However, it is also very effective to exhale slowly. Come on, everyone has done those calming exercises where they are told to "breathe in 1-2-3, hold, and exhale 1-2-3-4".
This is not just some yoga-new-age-mumbo-voodoo. There is a physiological rationale here. When you exhale too quickly, you throw off the CO2 balance in your blood. This is usually referred to as hyperventillation. Not healthy, to say the least. When your CO2 balance is off, your body stops functioning properly. This results in the fatigued I'm-so-tired-that-can't-even-find-the-strength-to-close-my-mouth look.
Aside from leaving the body in a panic-response mode, imbalances in blood pH can lead to immune deficiencies, and increase sensitivities to allergens and other air-borne pollutants. There are also several other points about the detriments of mouth-breathing, but the last one that I will bring up is that mouth breathers are obviously bad kissers.
Take running, for instance. Hmmm....now that I think of it, running may be a bad example of nose-breathing vs. mouth breathing since most people do not have to worry about breathing rythm. Also, I think that the general consensus among runners is that whatever works is good for you.
But that doesn't help to prove that nose breathing is better. Swimming: there's a sport where your breathing rythm affects performance. Try swimming while exhaling through the mouth, and then through the nose. You should find that you need to take fewer breaths/length when exhaling through the nose. Inhaling through the nose is a bit more difficult due to (proper) head position, so a combination of mouth-inhaling and nose-exhaling is probably best.
My bottom line here is that mouth breathing is just ugly, aside from being un-healthy. Especially when not exercising. Now, as a nose breather I know that nose-breathers can be equally loud. I am pretty sure that everyone has had that experience where they go from walking outdoors and sit down inside and then their nose starts running. If you don't have a bunch of tissues on you, you end up making sniffing sounds every couple of minutes. Believe it or not, but I find that this sound is much more tolerable than the slightly-audible grating of a mouth breather.
So, to all of the mouth breathers out there: there is hope for you. Admit you have a problem, and seek some rehabilitation.