Hyperventilation.: Does anyone out... - British Lung Foun...

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Hyperventilation.

Nanagaga
Nanagaga
9 Replies

Does anyone out there suffer from dysfunctional breathing disorder? I haven't had a bad bout for sometime but am experiencing an exacerbation at the moment and it's reared its ugly head!

9 Replies
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Spacecat1

I have copd and suffer with anxiety problems and when we are planning to go out or somedays just the thought of going up the stairs and I have panic attacks I have to sit and calm myself down. I'm on tablets for anxiety and have orimorph to help calm me down but do try not to have it. I went to classes where they helped me to control my breathing

Lizzab
Lizzab
in reply to Spacecat1

Can you outline what exercises/techniques they gave you?

Nanagaga

I also suffer from chronic anxiety and have done for over 30 years, I am so familiar with the panic associated with climbing stairs!! I try to attend places where they have lifts.....I have a huge problem with stairs.....I am on Oxygen therapy at home and unfortunately it has affected my nose in as much as it gets very blocked so breathing abdominally can be problematic for me!

Spacecat1
Spacecat1
in reply to Nanagaga

My nose has become dry inside I do have a NIV machine at night so that dosent help. I never used to suffer with anxiety until 3 years ago..I couldnt breath so rush to hospital by ambulance started having panic attacks which wasnt helping my breathing. I was in 10 days when it came to leaving I had panic attacks and anxiety problems the doctors put me on pregablin and orimorph if needed which is sometimes when we go out. What do you take for anxiety

Charlie_G

As I understand it, it’ll be because you have an exacerbation that you’re having more issues. My nearly 12 yo was picked up as having dysfunctional breathing during a CPET in November after months upon months of complaining of breathlessness and at times becoming visibly breathless for no ‘good’ reason. The CPET revealed that she does a lot of accessory breathing, which can lead to her sats dropping to less than 90% purely as a result of her breathing technique. On discussion with the consultant we came to several conclusions, the main one being that when you have a bad exacerbation, accessory breathing is sometimes the *only* way you can actually breathe, and where my daughter has had several prolonged spells of poorly managed infection over the last couple of years, she’d begun accessory breathing on a day to day basis because she had to but it’s now become a really unhelpful habit. In addition to that, she’s high functioning autistic and her autism is completely underpinned by anxiety, so if we’re in a busy shop, or she’s just generally feeling more anxious for any reason, this was resulting in complaints of breathlessness and massively reduced exercise tolerance (sometimes she’d be really breathless and asking me to slow down after just a hundred metres), because the fight or flight response can also trigger accessory breathing and it then caused her sats to drop: a very vicious circle.

I can’t give you any particularly good advice as we’re only just starting our journey of retraining her brain, but whatever breathing tips and techniques you’ve been given (if you have been given any) will likely only help so far during an exacerbation. However, we’ve been told to still keep practicing and promote awareness of her breathing pattern even when her chest is rubbish with the caveat that it may feel like it’s not helping much at the time, but it is helping reduce the problem in the longer term.

Lizzab

From what I have read, the nerves at the top of the lungs are activated for fight or flight, so breathing from that area creates appropriate hormone responses for 'running away'.

That's why we are taught abdominal breathing.

Therefore, I have assumed that breathing with the lungs is used for 'running away', whereas belly breathing should be/is the normal way to breathe.

Likewise for mouth breathing versus nasal breathing.

If what I have written is right, then when you can't nasal breath or belly/abdominal breathe, then I guess minimising the breath somehow might help.

Happy to be corrected here!!

Spacecat1

Have you heard of the huff.have a look on line for breathing techniques for breathing problems should bring up about the huff also on you tube. Are you doing the 6 minute walk

Ergendl

Try singing exercises to help control your breathing. BLF has a list of singing for lung health groups in the UK. If there isn't one near you, take a look at some videos on YouTube demonstrating diaphragm breathing. All the best.

LisaH1234

I have dysfunctional breathing, but, it is not related to anxiety. I do not suffer from it at all, which considering how bad my asthma is, is a surprise. The way my consultant explained it to me is that its more of an indicator of how clinically unwell I am. Rather than panic/anxiety. I often use accessory muscles to breath, and this is now the normal. So instead of only using accessory muscles when things are terrible after a prolonged exacerbation (currently 20 months) I now have an abnormal breathing pattern.

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