Is Mouth Breathing Really That Bad? Yes, especially for older adults

Senior Guide Staff

Are you taking your nose for granted? Most people don’t think of their nose as a complex organ that plays a role in keeping you healthy, especially as you age. With aging, however, comes changes to the nose, particularly to its structure and its ability to do its job.
For example, the effects of gravity lengthen the nose. Its tip begins to droop and its sides begin to collapse.Also, the soft tissue in the nose begins to become inflamed as people age. These changes sometimes cause a restriction of nasal airflow called nasal airway obstruction (NAO),a common condition impacting 20+ million Americans.

Diana’s story
NAO can cause people to breathe through their mouth, rather than their nose, to get enough air. This was especially true for Diana, 64, whose NAO symptoms greatly impacted her quality of life.
Diana’s doctor recommended (, a non-invasive technology that uses low temperature radiofrequency energy to gently remodel the nasal passage to improve airflow.
“I didn’t realize how little I could breathe through my nose until after I was treated with VivAer,” said Diana. “I’m still noticing improvement in my breathing. It is amazing to me.”

The impact of mouth breathing on health and what to do
NAO may cause people to breathe through their mouth to get enough air. This contributes to many ailments that may be harmful to older adults such as decreased lung function, which can lead to difficulty breathing, and poor sleep quality, which impacts energy.
“The nose does many important things for our bodies, like warming the air to body temperature before it enters our lungs or filtering out particles,” said Diana’s doctor, Raj P. TerKonda, M.D., FACS, otolaryngologist (ENT), facial plastic surgeon and sleep specialist. “By breathing through your mouth, you aren’t letting your nose do its job. Correct breathing really should always begin with the nose, not the mouth.”
Common symptoms of NAO include:
• Trouble breathing through their nose, or a “blocked” feeling
• Nasal congestion
• Difficulty sleeping, leading to fatigue
• Struggling to breathe through their nose during exercise
• Frequent “mouth breathing”
VivAer is covered by Medicare and many other insurance plans when considered medically necessary. To learn more about VivAer or to find an ENT near you, visit
Source: BPT

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