What Does Hyperventilation Feel Like?

Reduction of carbon dioxide can cause many physical symptoms, such as tingling and numbness, chest pain and dry mouth.

Hyperventilation can also develop into feelings of faintness, dizziness, lightheadedness, and confusion.

A person who is hyperventilating may start taking quick and loud gasps of air.

What are the signs and symptoms of hyperventilation?


  • Feeling lightheaded, dizzy, weak, or not able to think straight.
  • Feeling as if you can’t catch your breath.
  • Chest pain or fast and pounding heartbeat.
  • Belching or bloating.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Muscle spasms in the hands and feet.
  • Numbness and tingling in the arms or around the mouth.
  • Problems sleeping.

Can you die from hyperventilation?

Hyperventilation is a condition in which you start to breathe very fast. Healthy breathing occurs with a healthy balance between breathing in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. Severe hyperventilation can lead to loss of consciousness. For some people, hyperventilation is rare.

What causes hyperventilation?

Possible causes of hyperventilation include:

  1. Fear, panic, or stress. One of the most common causes of hyperventilation is emotional distress, including panic, fear, or anxiety.
  2. Infection. Some types of infections in the body can lead to hyperventilation.
  3. Head injury.
  4. Lung diseases.
  5. Diabetic ketoacidosis.
  6. High altitude.

Is it dangerous to hyperventilate?

Hyperventilation alone isn’t dangerous, but it can cause carbon dioxide levels in the blood to fall below normal levels. Once that happens, a person may experience the following symptoms: Tightness in the throat. Difficulty getting a deep, “satisfying” breath.

What is an early sign of hypoventilation?

During the early stages of hypoventilation with mild to moderate hypercapnia, patients usually are asymptomatic or have only minimal symptoms. Patients may be anxious and complain of dyspnea with exertion. As the degree of hypoventilation progresses, patients develop dyspnea at rest.

What is the first aid treatment for hyperventilation?

Have the hyperventilating person breathe slowly into a paper bag that’s held closely around his or her mouth and nose. The person should breathe like this for five to seven minutes. Talk to the individual the entire time. Try to distract him or her and make the person feel comfortable and safe.

How long can hyperventilation last?

Symptoms of hyperventilation usually last 20 to 30 minutes and may include: Feeling anxious, nervous, or tense. Frequent sighing or yawning.

How can I stop hyperventilation?

You can try some immediate techniques to help treat acute hyperventilation:

  • Breathe through pursed lips.
  • Breathe slowly into a paper bag or cupped hands.
  • Attempt to breathe into your belly (diaphragm) rather than your chest.
  • Hold your breath for 10 to 15 seconds at a time.

Does breathing into a paper bag help panic attacks?

1 When a person has a panic attack, the psychological condition can make them breathe too fast, which causes the body to lose carbon dioxide (CO2). The idea behind breathing into a paper bag or mask is that rebreathing exhaled air helps your body put CO2 back into your blood.