By Col Wajid Hussain
You can deremine your sensitivity to carbon dioxide using the BOLT. In this test, breath is held until you feel the first natural desire to breathe. Essentially, BOLT determines relative breathing volume during rest. The procedure to carry out BOLT is:
1. Take a normal in and out breath in through your nose and hold nose with finger. Time the number of seconds until you feel the first definite desire to breathe. You may feel the first involuntary contractions of your breathing muscles in the abdomen or throat as the body gives the message to resume breathing. Release your nose, stop the timer, and breathe in through your nose. Your inhalation at the end of the breath hold should be calm without any need to take a big breath. . Resume normal breathing after 15 secs.
Please be aware that when measuring the BOLT score the breath is taken after a gentle exhalation. The breath is held until the breathing muscles first begin to move. You are not measuring the maximum time that you can hold your breath. If you need to take a big breath at the end of the breath hold, then you have held your breath for too long.
Holding breath, prevent oxygen from entering lungs and stops carbon dioxide from being expelled into the atmosphere. As the breath hold continues, carbon dioxide accumulates in the lungs and blood, while oxygen levels slightly decrease. Since carbon dioxide is the primary stimulus for breathing, the length of your breath-hold time is influenced by how much carbon dioxide you are able to tolerate.
When the BOLT score is lower, your breathing receptors are especially sensitive to carbon dioxide, and your breathing volume will be greater as the lungs work to remove any carbon dioxide in excess of programmed levels. However, when you have a normal tolerance to carbon dioxide(a higher BOLT score), you will be able to maintain calm breathing during rest and lighter breathing during physical exercise. – Pak Destiny