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Hyperpnea or hyperpnoea is increased depth and rate of breathing. It may be physiologic-as when required to meet metabolic demand of body tissues (for example, during or after exercise, or when the body lacks oxygen at high altitude or as a result of anemia)-or it may be pathologic, as when sepsis is severe. Hyperpnea refers to a type of breathing difficulty that is a medical emergency. Hyperpnea occurs where either the breathing rate is increased (rapid breathing) or the level of breathing effort is increased (deeper breathing), or both. The list of causes of hyperpnea or tachypnea is not very reassuring, except perhaps for simple hyperventilation and a panic attack (anxiety attack). Almost every other cause is possibly life-threatening: head injury, shock, lung disorders, respiratory failure, kidney failure, heart disorders, and many other causes. Seek immediate emergency medical help for hyperpnea or tachypnea.
Dr. Saurabh Tandon
General Physician, Internal Medicine Specialist, Diabetes Specialist, Critical Care Specialist
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