British Lung Foundation
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Pursed lip breathing

Another question from this newbie. I've been reading about the pursed lip breathing technique and realise it's something I've been doing for quite a while (months before I was diagnosed).

I read you should breathe in through your nose - 1,2, and breathe out through your mouth - 1, 2, 3, 4.

Is it important that you should breathe in through your nose? I tend to breathe in through my mouth and during this cold weather I usually have a scarf wrapped round my mouth so the air I breathe in isn't very cold.

8 Replies

hi seasidesusie,

I suffer with sinusitis and only breath through my mouth.I still do the pursed lip breathing,i find it really helps me.I was diagnosed in february with copd.all the best,kathy


Hi seasidesusie,

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about pursed lips breathing. Please read it, the link is:

If you have any questions, ask them here, and I will try to answer them.

Breathe easy



Thanks John. I'm very new to the site and haven't got around to looking at the blogs yet. I'll check yours out.


Yes Susie, that was an excellent post of John's, I Printed it off for reference. I, too, have been doing pursed lip breathing for years when breathless, it seems to come naturally. However I don't know about the counting, I Just breathe in naturally then purse my lips and breathe out as forcefuly as I can to open the airways. Also try to get ALL the air out - without putting yourself in a position where yopu feel faint of course. Good Luck.


Funny how some things come naturally without thinking about it isn't it, self preservation and all that I suppose. I never did the counting, I just read about it, and I suppose it's helpful in setting up a rhythm to begin with. A rhythm just seemed to come naturally to me with the out breath longer than the in breath. I'll be more aware of trying to get all the air out now, thanks.


Seaside Susie. I am posting a link to a page that helped me with breathing. If you scroll to the bottom part of the page there is a list of breathing techniques.


Thanks Teabag. I'm slowly getting round this community, not explored the BLF site much yet so your link is much appreciated.


Hi your nose is the first line of defense in keeping particulates out of the lungs so breathing through your nose is very important. Especially in winter as it also helps to warm the air going into your lungs. So the answer is just to keep our mouths shut!!!!


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