WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Hyperventilation is when your breathing is faster than normal. This fast breathing may cause you to also have other symptoms. Hyperventilation may be caused by anxiety, stress, or panic. Other causes include medicines, imbalances in the chemicals in your body, and too much caffeine.
- Antianxiety medicine: This medicine may be given to decrease anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
- Stress management: Learn about the stressors that cause you to hyperventilate. Find other ways to manage your response to stress. Deep breathing, relaxing muscles, or meditation may help you. Do not use the home remedy of breathing into a paper bag. This can be very dangerous, because it may cause a lack of oxygen.
- Counseling: You may need help to manage the stress or anxiety that is causing your hyperventilation. Your primary healthcare provider may suggest that you see a counselor to talk about how you are feeling.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- Your symptoms do not get better, or they get worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You have a seizure.
- You feel like you are going to faint.
- You have chest pain.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.