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How do we breathe from nose when we eat?

  1. Aug 7, 2009 #1
    If the epiglottis closes when we eat how come we can eat food with our mouth closed, how can we breathe then. Obviously this can be done so I'm missing something. Please help Thanks :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2009 #2
    You dont breathe when you swallow.
  4. Aug 7, 2009 #3
    Thanks.Overthinking as usual by me :smile:
  5. Aug 8, 2009 #4
    This appears to me to be a significant advantage, especially for herbivores. The ability to chew and not restrict breathing allows for the crushing of the food over extended periods of time.
  6. Aug 9, 2009 #5
    I have unwillingly tried this many times and doing both at the same time leads to (near) choking. I am obviously still alive, so one might claim that "it worked" but I guess this is due to the two processes somehow organising themselves sequentially after a bit of a "bottleneck" (the choking).

    Warning: I don't recommend you try this at home!
  7. Aug 9, 2009 #6


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    My daughter's pediatrician told me that infants can breathe and swallow at the same time, up to about 6 months of age.
  8. Aug 9, 2009 #7


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    I have to be extremely careful, with the COPD. Frequently I have to breathe through my mouth while chewing. It's really tricky to get the air past the food without inhaling something solid.
  9. Aug 10, 2009 #8


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    Definitely true. They'd suffocate while breastfeeding otherwise.
  10. Aug 10, 2009 #9


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    I'd be more than happy to volunteer as a test subject for that.
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