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Hyperventilation

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Hyperventilation is breathing that 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.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

  • You have a seizure.
  • You have chest pain.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You feel like you are going to faint.

Call your doctor or therapist if:

  • Your symptoms do not get better, or they get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

  • Antianxiety medicine may help you feel calm and relaxed.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him of her 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.

Go to therapy as directed:

Therapy may help you manage the stress or anxiety that is causing your hyperventilation. A therapist can help you learn about the stressors that cause you to hyperventilate. He or she can help you find other ways to manage your response to stress, such as deep breathing, relaxing muscles, or meditation. Do not use the home remedy of breathing into a paper bag. This can cause a dangerous lack of oxygen.

Follow up with your doctor or therapist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Learn more about Hyperventilation (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.