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Why do people short of breath breathe out of their mouths?

5 doctors weighed in
4 doctors agree

In brief: Open lower airway

Mouth breathing when short of breath usually happens along with using additional muscles to breath in neck and between ribs.
This kind of breathing helps to open up airways that may be closed due to swelling, inflammation, mucus or other blockage. If you see someone using their mouth like a fish to breath, they are having respiratory distress and need immediate medical attention.

In brief: Open lower airway

Mouth breathing when short of breath usually happens along with using additional muscles to breath in neck and between ribs.
This kind of breathing helps to open up airways that may be closed due to swelling, inflammation, mucus or other blockage. If you see someone using their mouth like a fish to breath, they are having respiratory distress and need immediate medical attention.
Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett
Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett
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