When the body enters a state of panic, uncontrolled quick breathing is a common occurrence.
Blood Constriction and Hyperventilation
While some people may think that hyperventilation is caused by a shortage of air, science disagrees. Hyperventilation, physiology states, is actually less of an air problem and more of a blood or circulation problem.
What happens on the internal level is vasoconstriction, which is caused by the reduction of carbon dioxide in the arteries connected to the heart. Because there is a shortage of carbon dioxide retained in the bloodstream, the partial pressure of it decreases and sends your body into respiratory alkalosis. This means that the pH levels of blood change through an increase of alkalinity or a decrease of acidity.
This change causes the constriction of small blood vessels, known as vasoconstriction. This is especially alarming when it affects the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain. And it is for this reason why hyperventilation symptoms also include lightheadedness and tingling fingertips. In severe cases, the patient could pass out because of hyperventilation and restricted blood flow to the brain.
Hyperventilation First Aid
Since hyperventilation is something that is triggered and needs immediate care, the essentials are obvious for hyperventilation first aid.
Emotional First Aid
The main focus of dealing with hyperventilation is getting air intake at a controlled pace. However, if the causes are emotional, emotional first aid like reassurance and calming techniques are more appropriate.
Emotional responses to another known condition are quite similar to that of hyperventilation: anxiety.