hyperventilation or asthma


My teenage daughter has chronic asthma and has just had 2 years of it being very unstable. Although now she seems to be getting the asthma under control after altering her medication and hours spent with the respiratory nurse at the hospital, she has always found it difficult to tell the difference between an asthma attack and hyperventilation brought on by anxiety. Her consultant told me asthmatics often suffer with hyperventilation problems as well and I wondered if there are any tests e.g. carbon dioxide levels etc that could help a parent or sufferer to know the difference.


3 Replies

  • hi Linda yes that is very trew the difference between an asthma attack and hyperventilation brought on by anxiety can be very hard you realy need to train your own body to tell realy but useing ventol will not do you no harm i world also say give AUK a call monday just to chat to them as they are good with adivce and that also i would also see an asthma person as soon as my new gp has given me some ways to tell and the peak flow also is a good way or showing but i no every one is diffent and that

    hope she starts to feel better soon and gets better soon all the best

    mat :)

  • The way I mostly told it apart when worked as a medic is hyperventilation you get a short in and out breath where in asthma the out breath is longer. However it does differ. I would recommend though if you cant tell give 2 puffs of sally and then talk through the whole deep breathing thing, in through the nose out through the mouth.

  • Have a look at physiohypervent.org - the website for physio specialising in Hyperventilation Syndrome. I was diagnosed with HVS in July and am now going through breathing retraining and have realised how my supposedly severe asthma was actually mainly me constantly overbreathing and my body getting used to lower carbon dioxide levels.

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