SECTION 1 Introduction
Hyperventilation is the process of breathing too fast (deep or shallow) and thereby causing an imbalance in our oxygen/carbon dioxide ratios. When we breathe, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Excessive breathing leads to low levels of carbon dioxide in our blood. This causes many of the symptoms we may feel if we hyperventilate (see below).
Usually people who hyperventilate due to Panic find that they have entered a nasty vicious circle: the Panic makes them hyperventilate which makes them panic even more, which makes them hyperventilate still more, which makes . . . And so on.
Very often too, a person may not even be aware that they are hyperventilating, unless someone else points it out to them: being aware of our breathing rate is sometimes the very last thing going through our mind when we are feeling anxious or having a full-blown Panic Attack!
Anxiety and Panic are, by far, the most common causes of Hyperventilation, but in a small minority of cases -- when no other symptoms of Anxiety are present -- it may be a sign of a physical condition or illness. If you feel you have no other symptoms or signs of Anxiety and are worried about your health, then please make an appointment to see your Doctor: better safe than sorry.