Eli5: Why is it difficult to breathe when wind is blowing on your face?


Eli5: Why is it difficult to breathe when wind is blowing on your face?

In: 19

The wind is stronger/faster than your inhale. You’re trying to get air to move in one direction when it is very committed to going a different one.

The increased air pressure and coldness on your face mimics the feeling of being underwater, which triggers a reflex to stop breathing. That reaction itself is called the [mammalian diving reflex](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diving_reflex?wprov=sfla1). So basically, it is your brain misinterpreting stimuli and stopping you from breathing so that you don’t drown, even though you’re not in water.

Same reason why the SR-71 Blackbird (air force plane) has the inverted cones in its engines. It flys so fast, the air entering the engines has to be slowed down first to be used

fluid physics, high speed tries to pull air from your nostrills by the difference in pressure

The faster a fluid (gases and liquids are fluids) is moving, the lower it’s pressure. (Assuming no energy is being added, it’s entirely possible to increase velocity and pressure but then you have to add energy to the system, whereas if you lower pressure you can increase velocity without adding energy to the system, oversimplified, but you need to understand that much) If the pressure is lower outside your body than it is inside your body, then the atmosphere is effectively creating a vacuum. So you have to overcome that vacuum to breathe in.