Is it possible to retrain myself to breathe through nose and not mouth after nose surgery?

I'm 25. My entire life I've had difficulty breathing from my nose. I thought it was normal because thats how its always been. I developed bad habits. Breathing from my mouth, keeping my mouth open (while awake and asleep), breathing through mouth while eating, etc. etc. Now, after two surgeries (turbinate reduction, septoplasty, revision septoplasty/rinoplasty), I can breathe great. But I still find myself subconsciously breathing through my mouth. What can I do to break these habits?

Doctor Answers 2


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Dear shgadwa, As with many habits it takes work to break it. I have many patients who have been unable to breathe for most of their lifetime through their noses and then have surgery and can breathe fine and will discover themselves mouth breathing on occasions. Most patients overcome this quickly once learning the comforts of breathing through their nose. With constant reminders to yourself and really thinking about your breathing you can change your current patterns. Many patients who are singers, athletes, yoga instructors work hard to learn to breathe in different ways as well to better achieve their needs. With a little time and effort you should be breathing fine through your nose. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Breathe through nose

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That is great that now you can breathe through your nose! As you suggested, you've developed a habit of breathing through your mouth because of your inability to breathe through the nose previously.  Other than consciously telling yourself to close your mouth to breathe through your nose, I don't think there is a way.  I think if you keep doing that, eventually over a period of time, you will develop a new habit of breathing through your nose. Good luck!

Sunny Park, MD, MPH
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

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