You Are Here: Home » Breathing Emergencies » Hyperventilation syndrome: Causes and treatment

Hyperventilation syndrome: Causes and treatment

Fact Checked

Hyperventilation syndrome is a respiratory disorder that involves breathing deeply or rapidly. Generally, it happen chronically or persistent episodes and associated with somatic or psychological symptoms lie anxiety. In addition, it is usually common to people with asthma.

Hyperventilation is also known as:

  • Over breathing
  • Respiratory rate (or breathing) — rapid and deep
  • Rapid (or fast) deep breathing

Hyperventilation syndrome is alleged to be caused by a psychological factor and has no organic cause.

Causes of hyperventilation syndrome

Hyperventilation syndrome is alleged to be caused by a psychological factor and has no organic cause. Generally, infections, heart attack, hypocapnia and blood loss are just some that can cause this illness.

In addition, people with panic disorder or agoraphobia are the most common who experiences hyperventilation syndrome.

Common Causes of Hyperventilation

Many factors can lead to hyperventilation. Generally, this may commonly results from anxiety, stress, panic or nervousness. It’s frequently takes form of a panic attack.

Other causes may include:

  • Bleeding drug overdose (aspirin overdose, for example)
  • Severe pain
  • Lung diseases, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • The use of stimulants
  • Pregnancy
  • An infection in the lungs
  • Heart conditions, such as a heart attack

Hyperventilation can also happen because of problems caused by asthma or emphysema or after a head trauma. Several women experience difficulties with hyperventilation during pregnancy. It can occur in some people when traveling to elevations.


Complaint is normally of a paroxysmal rather than a continuous nature, even though chronic hyperventilation can happen. The person suffering from hyperventilation may complain shortness of breath during attacks. Common symptom is pain and chest discomfort.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Palpitations
  • Wheezing
  • Sweating
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness

Home Care

 The doctor will have an examination and check if there are other causes of over breathing. If it’s due to anxiety, stress or panic there are ways to take at home. Learn techniques to stop it from occurring and avoid future attacks.

If hyperventilation is due to panic, anxiety, or stress learn the ways that can be taken at home. Learn the techniques to avoid it from happening and avoid future attacks.

If hyperventilation begins, the main goal is to increase the carbon dioxide level in the blood. Furthermore, ways to include in order stopping most of the symptoms are the following;

  1. Get assurance from a friend or family member to aid relax your breathing. Generally, it is extremely important that the person helping remain calm and deliver messages with a soft, relaxed tone.
  2. Increase your carbon dioxide by taking in less oxygen. To accomplish this, breathe through pursed lips or you can cover mouth and one nostril, and breathe through the other nostril.

Over the long term, measures to assist you stop over breathing include:

  1. If you have been recognized with anxiety or panic, see a psychologist or psychiatrist to help you understand and to care for your condition.
  2. Determine breathing exercises that aid you relax and breathe from the diaphragm and abdomen rather than from the chest wall.
  3. Prepare relaxation methods regularly, such as advanced muscle relaxation or meditation.
  4. Exercise frequently.

If these methods alone do not avoid over breathing, doctor may prescribe a beta-blocker medication.


Was this post helpful?
Let us know if you liked the post. That’s the only way we can improve.

Leave a Comment

© 2015 First Aid Courses

At St Mark James Training we work hard to ensure accurate and useful information on our blog website. However, the information that we post on our website is purely for educational purposes and should not be used as diagnosis or treatment. If you need medical advise please contact a medical professional

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.

Scroll to top