A disordered breathing pattern usually includes hyperventilation or over-breathing (breathing more than the body requires at that time). The posture may also be slumped and often the breathing is predominantly into the upper chest rather than diaphragmatic. Breathing may be irregular and noisy, and through the mouth some of the time. There may be little awareness of breathing; it may not be under control while speaking or exercising. We emphasise the importance of nasal breathing at all times, and encourage you to live life at the pace that you can breathe through your nose.
If you are seated but you are breathing the amount of air required for a brisk walk, then you are hyperventilating. However, even if you are breathing three times the normal volume of air, neither you nor your GP are likely to notice that you are breathing too much. Because breathing is such a basic function and we tend to believe it “looks after itself”, hyperventilation can be overlooked, with serious long-term health consequences. This is hidden hyperventilation or chronic hyperventilation.
The respiratory system is often the first part of the body to show symptoms related to bad breathing and many people with hidden hyperventilation have narrowed airways and/or increased mucus production. This can give you mild symptoms like a blocked or running nose or more serious conditions such as asthma, hay fever, chronic allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, coughing, and difficulty swallowing. Symptoms of chronic hyperventilation are not confined to the respiratory system, indeed many systems can be affected from digestive to circulatory, causing IBS, dizzyness, cold hands and many others.