Home treatment may help you control
your breathing and stop
hyperventilation. First, sit down and concentrate on
- Breathe through pursed lips, as if you are
whistling, or pinch one nostril and breathe through your nose. It is harder to
hyperventilate when you breathe through your nose or pursed lips, because you
can't move as much air.
- Slow your breathing to 1 breath every 5
seconds, or slow enough that symptoms gradually go away.
belly-breathing, which fills your lungs fully, slows your breathing rate, and
helps you relax.
- Place one hand on your belly just below the
ribs. Place the other hand on your chest. You can do this while standing, but
it may be more comfortable while you are lying on the floor with your knees
- Take a deep breath through your nose. As you inhale, let
your belly push your hand out. Keep your chest still.
- As you exhale
through pursed lips, feel your hand go down. Use the hand on your belly to help
you push all the air out. Take your time exhaling.
- Repeat these
steps 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
Always try measures to control your breathing or
belly-breathe first. If these techniques don't work and you don't have other
health problems, you might try breathing in and out of a paper bag that covers
your nose and mouth.
Using a paper bag
- Use a paper bag to control your breathing. Take 6 to 12 easy, natural breaths, with a
small paper bag held over your mouth and nose. Then remove the bag from your
nose and mouth and take easy, natural breaths.
- Next, try
belly-breathing (diaphragmatic breathing).
- Alternate these
techniques until your hyperventilation stops.
If hyperventilation continues for longer than 30 minutes,
call your doctor immediately.
Do not use a paper bag if:
Follow these precautions when using
the bag method:
- Do not use a plastic bag.
- Do not
breathe continuously into a paper bag. Take 6 to 12 natural breaths, with a
paper bag held over your mouth and nose, then remove the bag from your nose and
- Do not hold the bag for the person who is hyperventilating.
Allow the person to hold the bag over his or her own mouth and nose.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
- Symptoms do not improve with home treatment
- Symptoms become more severe or frequent.