Hyperventilation is breathing that is deeper and more rapid than
normal, which causes the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood to drop
too low. This may result in lightheadedness, a rapid heartbeat, shortness of
breath, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, anxiety, fainting, and sore
Some causes of hyperventilation include extreme anxiety, asthma,
emphysema, head injury, fever, exposure to altitude above
6000 ft (2000 m), and some
In many cases, hyperventilation can be controlled with home
treatment, such as focusing on proper breathing techniques.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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