When my friend is doing anything besides sleeping, reading a book or watching T.V. he inhales through his nose and exhales through the mouth making a sound in the back of his throat-like grunting or groaning. It is pronounced if he is doing a task, playing a hand of bridge or anything that takes some concentration or effort. He is on medication for bi-polar and anxiety/up-tighness. He is not aware of making this noise. He has been checked thoroughly for physical conditions that might be a cause for this noise and there is nothing physically wrong with him. He us 80 years old.
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It sounds as if your friend has taken the necesary steps to be sure this is not causing any harm or is not a signalof something more dangerous. It is possible this is a coping mechanism that your friend is not even aware of.