British Lung Foundation


As yet had no diagnosis and dont believe i wil do soon. Had all the tests and consultant says he cant see anything to be giving me my symptoms. Breathlessness which can happen at rest and excessive mucus with no cough. The only thing that has come out of this is i have seen a breathing physio who says i have dynamic hyper ventilation. When i breath out after a normal breath then hold my breath its only 20 seconds before i desperately need to breath. She says the norm is nearly a minute. Some other tests proved this.

My day to day symptoms are so inconsistant one day extreme breathless spitting up frothy mucus sometimes green the next day as if ive never had it. But without fail every morning i wake with thick mucus stuck on back of throat which can be like string this is visible in mirror and makes me nauseaous.

I stook for answers.

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14 Replies

Some years ago I did a Buteyko Breathing course, and one of the elements was the Control Pause...breathing out gently and then counting how long before you needed to breathe in without gasping or straining. 20 seconds would mean you are breathing enough for three people and so have hidden hyperventilation.

Someone on this site reccommended a book by Dinah Bradley called Self Help for Hyperventilation Syndrome.

I find gentle belly breathing with a relaxed diaphragm, through the nose only to warm and filter the air and to prevent further hyperventilation

About your mucus that you can see, you may have Post Nasal you have any allergies or mouth breathe when you sleep?

Stress and anxiety do not help, have you tried relaxation exercises and I find Meditation helpful too.

Take care


Nearly a minute between breathing out and breathing in ? Is this really the norm ? My breathing isn't too bad but I would find it difficult to get 20 seconds between exhalation and inhalation. Maybe this happens when I'm sleeping or not thinking about breathing but certainly not when I consciously try to measure the time.

It would make sense to count how long it takes from starting to breathe out and taking the next breath in. I don't think I could last 8 seconds after emptying my lungs lol!!

Yesss - that works!! I feel a bit better now lol, thanks!

Hi, I think 60seconds hold is the maximum not the norm.

It must be done on the OUT breath after a gentle in and out...not on the IN breath...and then breathe in again with a gentle breath...not a gasping strained one...otherwise breathing could get worse.

I find gentle belly breathing with a relaxed diaphragm the best help.....examples on you tube. And pursed lip breathing to release trapped air...also on you tube.

I asked two people with normal lungs to do this and they averaged 20 seconds, but it took a little effort.

Flibberti, your 8 seconds would probably be about my time as well.

qbjb, I also try to empty my lungs with my outbreath, in an attempt to avoid hyperinflation. By the time I've done the whole diaphragm flattening thing, I have to breathe in almost immediately.

The more I think about it, I'm sure nobody but yogis in ashrams, can spend one minute between breaths and that's probably because they have nothing else to do :)


I was told as i sat there breathing normally that at the end of a normal expiration pinch my nose at which point she started stop watch. I achieved 20 seconds which i found very difficult and uncomfortable. I was told this was quite low ?


Still on the journey? you and I too.

I have also been working with a Resp therapist using similar techniques as you describe. I have to say it's given me a lot more control over my breathing, slowed things down and improved my general well being.


Yes still on the journey seen therapist twice given some exercises lets hope they make a difference. How are you getting on are you well.

I'm at 20 or so too btw. The wife is at 26 :)

It's a bit subjective as you are supposed to breathe in when you first feel like you need a breath. When is that? When you are nearly passing out or at the very first sign...

I do it to the point of feeling uncomfortable with not being able to breath. The therapist seemed happy with that level.

Another is to lower my respiration to 10 per minute.

No diagnosis yet. When everything was normal i never thought about breathing it was and is such a natural action. Now i have to think about it taking a big breath before doing an energetic movement. I dont realise i had to take that extra breath until im finished when i find myself breathing heavier. I dont know what the problem is and consultant says all testresults xray ct are fine. He says pfts and lung volumes norm. I did question him over a few results which i believe are low but he says there within normal limits.

My results that where low

Fef 25/75 71% predicted.

Rv 73%

Frc 77%

My dclo was110%

Dclo/va 129%

These results are very good and disqualify lots of possibilities.

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