Posture

If you are having breathing issues, consider improving your posture. Although it makes absolutely no difference to some people, it can have an effect on breathing for others. In fact, many singers are able to sing while hunched over in a chair or while lying down.

Make sure to stand up right and keep your back straight. Your stomach should stick out a little as well. The ultimate test to see if you have good posture is to keep your back up against the wall while singing. It might feel like you are getting measured at the doctor’s office, but it will force your back to be straight! Do not be deterred if improving your posture has no effect on your breathing problems; try another solution.

Sickness & Allergies

If you are sick, your vocals and breathing will probably not be doing too well. There is not much you can do if you are sick besides get better; take your medicine, drink lots of water, and sleep a lot. If you take care of your voice while you are sick, your singing abilities will be up to their normal standards in a short amount of time.

Unfortunately, some people are cursed with constant sickness. If you are the type of person who constantly has allergy problems and sinus infections, your breathing abilities have definitely not been the greatest. The only way to counter this is to see your doctor, preferably an allergist, and get your health conditions treated. Personally, I used to suffer through allergy problems daily until I was put on medication. After the medicine started to kick in I was able to breathe much more easily.

Smoking

It is the phrase that every smoker does not want to hear : “Quit smoking.” There is no reason to believe that smoking will not affect your breathing. It has been shown in countless studies that smoking massively reduces the lung’s breathing capacity. Also, because nicotine is a sedative, it kills off the nerves which manage the support musculature. The tar prevents cilia from cleaning out the phlegm in the lungs.

Another side effect of smoking is a cough, usually known as the “smoker’s cough.” If you are constantly coughing throughout the day, you are damaging your vocal chords. This means that over time your vocal abilities will weaken along with your breathing abilities.

The only solution is really just to quit smoking. If you absolutely positively cannot quit smoking, at least attempt to cut down on how much you smoke in one day. You also should not talk or sing while smoking because when your vocal chords are in use, your vocal folds become vulnerable. If you talk a lot or sing immediately after smoking, you are allowing the smoke to directly damage your vocal chords.

Nasal Deviated Septum

What is a nasal deviated septum, you may ask? This is a common physical disorder of the nose, usually caused by some sort of impact trauma, that displaces the nasal septum. In other words, tissue blockage makes it more difficult to breathe through the nose. Usually one nostril allows airflow while the other can hardly take air in or out, if not at all. A nasal deviated septum can also cause a variety of other health problems, such as headaches, bloody noses, improper sinus drainage, and sleeping disorders such as snoring or sleep apnea.

Even though this condition may not be serious, in some cases it must be treated. The only treatment is to receive a surgical procedure called a septoplasty. In this procedure, the blocked tissue is removed and nose displacement is fixed. Healing time is anywhere from one to four weeks, but it is a semi-painful recovery. It is not recommended to receive this surgery unless it is your last resort for improving your breathing. However, if your nasal deviated septum is preventing you from doing normal everyday activities, the procedure should probably be done.