Hyperventilation (What is it & Symptoms)

 

What is Hyperventilation ?

Hyperventilation is characterised by rapid or deep breathing that is frequently triggered by worry or panic. Overbreathing, as it is commonly referred to, can leave you feeling out of breath.

When you breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, you are inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Excessive breathing can generate low levels of carbon dioxide in your blood, which can cause many of the symptoms associated with hyperventilation. 

Hyperventilation is uncommon in some persons. It only happens on rare occasions as a panicked reaction to fear, stress, or a phobia. 

Hyperventilation is also referred to as:

  • quick (or fast) deep inhalation.
  • overbreathing.
  • Rapid and deep breathing (respiratory rate). 

Symptoms

Among the associated symptoms are:

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • Belching, bloating, and a dry mouth
  • Weakness and perplexity
  • Disruptions in sleep
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms and around the mouth.
  • Hand and foot muscle spasms, chest pain, and palpitations.

 Treatment

In acute situations of hyperventilation, it is critical to maintain calm. It may be beneficial to have someone with you to guide you through the episode.During an episode, the goal of treatment is to boost carbon dioxide levels in your body while also working to moderate your breathing rate. 

The purpose of hyperventilation treatment is to increase the level of carbon dioxide in the blood.
There are various options for accomplishing this:

  • Reassurance from a friend or family member can aid in the relaxation of your breathing. Words like “you’re fine,” “you’re not having a heart attack,” and “you’re not going to die” are extremely beneficial. It is critical that the individual assisting you remain cool and give these messages in a smooth, relaxed tone.
  •  To increase your carbon dioxide levels, you must consume less oxygen. You can do this by breathing through pursed lips (as if blowing out a flame) or by covering your mouth and one nostril and breathing through the other. 
  • Learn breathing techniques that will assist you in relaxing and breathing from your diaphragm and abdomen rather than your chest wall.
  • Regularly practise relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation or meditation.
  • Regular exercise is essential. 

 

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