• Posted by frank-marzetta on April 6, 2023 at 10:54 am

    Hi All,

    I have been experiencing extreme SOB.  I try to breathe through my nose and out my mouth to get the oxygen flowing but find I am so SOB that I can only breathe very rapidly through my mouth.   I can only move slowly and need to take a lot of breaks, but am not getting the benefit of the oxygen because of the mouth breathing and my O2 levels are in the 70’s and less sometimes.  Is there anyone who deals with this and if so, what is a good way to breathe.  Unfortunately, I have not figured out how to get the benefit of oxygen with this happening.



    gordon-b-sandmire replied 5 months, 3 weeks ago 11 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • frank-marzetta

    April 6, 2023 at 11:41 am

    BTW…I am on 2L continuous flow oxygen.

  • pattye

    April 6, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    Talk with your doctor.  My doctor has me adjust my oxygen flow as needed.  I always need to turn it up to shower, vacuum, or any bending down activities.  I also require more if the humidity is high & I’m outside.

    • Paul D Boccocelli

      April 6, 2023 at 7:44 pm


      Probably a dumb question. How do you take a shower with your oxygen connected? When I get in the shower with the cannula in my nose I always fear I’m going to get water in the oxygen tubes. Is there a secret or do I just need to learn to relax.  Thanks.

      • gordon-b-sandmire

        April 11, 2023 at 5:48 pm

        With oxygen coming out I don’t see how water can flow back in. I shower all the time with the cannula in my nose and have never got any water in it.

    • john-baldino

      April 11, 2023 at 5:09 pm

      Frank, turn your oxygen up to 4 or 5 and put cannula in your mouth. I have the same issue at times and this trick always works for me. I, too, am a mouth breather. Good luck

  • lawrence

    April 6, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Hi Frank,  I have a stationary machine that will produce two and up to 10 liters. continuous flow.  I set it on 4 liters when lounging and crank it up to 6 liters when I’m active (such as going to the basement (stairs).  When you’re short of breath it’s natural to grasp for air through your mouth.  You just have to concentrate on inhaling through your nose and exhale out your mouth.  Hard, but deep breathing, in and out, several times a day should help develop a good breathing habit.

    Best wishes,


  • markmaron

    April 7, 2023 at 8:57 am

    many of us are mouth breathers and not nose breathers,I am one of them and it was a simple correction. I.now use a OXY MASK that is very soft and covers my mouth and nose, it is a real pleasure to wear especially when I sleep. You can also get a full nose/mouth mask from your dr with a prescription.  Good luck easy fix,…..OH and Im on 6-8 Ltrs so way more than you unfortunately.

  • arthur

    April 7, 2023 at 8:59 am

    I get shortness of breath talking .Did anybody experiencethat.My oxygen level is good.Over 96.

  • msherbert

    April 7, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    Arthur, Talking causes SOB and coughing for me. I had to retire from teaching because of it. My O2 levels are in the low 90s. Inhaled corticosteroids and gabapentin help with the coughing. I try to remember to pause between sentences when talking.

  • mary-frances

    April 10, 2023 at 6:37 am

    Have doctor increase your 2 liters of oxygen There are also other cannulas to use for continuous flow. For IPF they also have a full face masks. The doc may do walking and breathing test for you to see if you need your oxygen increased.

  • steve-dragoo

    April 11, 2023 at 9:55 am


    Hi Frank,

    What is your heart rate? PAH cause my heart to work hard which creates shortness of breath sometimes.  Also, O2 bottles go to 11+ L, and try wearing a face mask.


    Stay well.

  • linda-maguire

    April 11, 2023 at 2:21 pm

    There is a breathing technique called “pursed lip breathing” that is designed to increase O2.  You breathe in through your nose, then out through your mouth with your lips pursed, as if you are about to give a kiss.  It takes some practice, but I find it useful when I am exerting myself & get SOB.

  • chukegee

    April 11, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    Hi Ya’ll, To help my breathing through my nose i found that my nose was and is getting clogged with mucus and whatever. So i have been using a gel (not the spray) called “AYR” on a nasal swab (q tip) a few times a day. It kinda loosens up everything in my nose and then about a half hour later i blow my nose as hard as i can and usually i can breath better and easier. You can get AYR at any drug store without a prescription and it’s only about 6/7 bucks a tube. Hope that this helps at least some of you. Charles

    • john-j-gallagher

      April 12, 2023 at 8:50 am

      Pursed Lip breathing is my best friend when experiencing SOB. I highly recommend pulmonary rehab where they teach you that and other breathing techniques that help. Best of luck, John

  • arthur

    April 12, 2023 at 8:48 am

    I get shortness of breath when talking sometimes.Oxygen level is 96.Anybody else experience this?

  • mkocelko

    April 12, 2023 at 8:49 am

    When i find myself gasping for breath, I just put the cannula in my mouth and continue gasping.  That elevates my levels pretty quickly.



  • David Morgan

    April 12, 2023 at 8:51 am

    I seem to be a “mouth breather” as well, although I am working on technique to improve.  My pulse rate jumps up almost as hi as a fetus with a moderate amount. Of exertion 140s and dats low 80s so o2 brings everything back within manageable I guess windows but I always have muscle pains because I can’t sleep with this new o2 apparatus wrapped around my self, dampness in cannula,  etc… I suppose it’s a learning curve as I’m only on 1-2 lpm now Imogen and home concentration.  But I also have swallowing and choking issues if I don’t slow down SOB..So..I pause and ( prior military) actually try to swallow with syncing my breathing in cadence if u will. Emotional times, coughing,  exertion,  frustration all trigger SOB. I was told by pulmonologist that face mask like in hospitals weren’t recommended but thanks to yall I’m going back at her because sleeping with o2 would be a blessing come morning time. ~ David

  • jane-mason

    April 12, 2023 at 8:53 am

    Hi. My name is Jane and i completely understand your situation. I was diagnosed in June 2020 with IPF. Started OFEV but low dose didnt work. Began hi dose but side effects too severe..now on Esbriet a.k.a. Pirfinadone. Spent 10 days in hosp in
    CICU with bacterial pnemonia in Jan. this year. both lungs exacerbated, one upper one lower. I somehow survived that but im paying the price now. Before the pnemonia i was on O2 at a number 4. If i had to get up and do anything i had to turn up to 5. Now. ….
    Well, i had to trade up to a hi-volume concentrator at home and i need 5 just sitting. Takes a number 8 to even go to the bathroom and back.
    Sats drop into low 70s. If i dont take a break my sats go even lower. Ive been as low as 54 and almost passed out. I spoke to my Pulmonologist about it. She advised me to make sure my sats were above 90 before i attempted to do ANYTHING. I keep a pulse oximeter with me always
    and watch it closly. If it starts to drop i have to sit till i get back to 90. No other choice.
    I suggest you speak to your Dr.regarding your particular symptoms.
    As far as keeping your sats from dropping, just dont exert yourself. Its really hard on your heart for your O2 to be that low. Maybe dont push yourself so hard. Perhaps a nebulizor would help.
    Sorry this wasnt more helpful. This disease is a real bummer. Let me know how it goes.

  • chudson2301

    April 12, 2023 at 8:54 am

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