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It has been raining questions about hyperventilation and other anxiety disorders these last few months. Sometimes it seems like an epidemic. It suddenly comes up and people keep walking around with questions as if there were a rational reason as to why you would start experiencing hyperventilation. There of course is a medical explanation. And luckily there nowadays are very good and simple solutions for this. Simple from the standpoint of the doctor. This of course does not mean that the patient does not require input and especially determination.

What is hyperventilation?

Hyperventilation is an illness which is easy to cure as long as the right approach is used. You become short of breath, start to breath quickly and in a shallow way, feel tense, anxious, dizzy or panicky, and you might even faint.

How does hyperventilation develop?

Hyperventilation is a medical issue which makes you anxious and irritable because you start breathing in an out more quickly and in a shallow way. This causes a chemical imbalance in your blood. The result of this is that your nerves and muscles become irritable, causing anxiety, panic, dizziness, short of breathness, and countless other symptoms.

What is acute hyperventilation?

Acute hyperventilation is a form of hyperventilation which only occurs under certain circumstances. If acute hyperventilation has only been present for a short time, it can disappear really quickly through following the online self-help program. Most people lose their complaints between the third and the fifth week of the online self-help program.

What is chronic hyperventilation?

Chronic hyperventilation has often been going on for months or years and the patient suffers a poor, anxious feeling for most of the time, constantly living with the fear that it will get worse, and starting to lose hope of ever feeling better. This type of hyperventilation, too, can be treated very efficiently online with the self-help program. Getting better in this case, however, tends to take a bit longer than in acute hyperventilation because the patient first gets better very quickly, after which the improvements slow down. In chronic hyperventilation, the participant often has the feeling that they get better through trial and error. This opposes acute hyperventilation, which tends to be more straightforward.

How does the online self-help program treat hyperventilation?

On the one hand, the participant gets information about the illness in the form of films where doctors use simple language to explain how hyperventilation develops and is cured. After that, the program helps the participant on a daily basis by asking short, solution focused question. These questions help the participant to gain insight in what is useful in preventing and reducing the anxiety and hyperventilation. Furthermore, short anxiety-reducing techniques are taught every week n the shape of short films where a doctor or therapist shows how you can do the exercises at home. Exercises which are taught include: the anti-worrying exercise, the contentment exercise, meditative breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, the perfectionism reducer, and tens of other exercises which were developed and tested by well-known European or American psychotherapists or doctors. Furthermore, the participant gets a weekly evolution report and stress test to discuss with their doctor, in case this is necessary.

Hyperventilation self-test: how can I measure if I suffer from hyperventilation?

You can take a simple stress test to see if you score positively on important pointer which often go together with hyperventilation: tension, anxiety, stress, or even depression. Take the test here now.

Paul Koeck, MD