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Tachypnea: what is it, causes and symptoms

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Tachypnea is a medical term that determines an alteration in the average respiration rate. Changes in respiration can occur for a large number of causes; for example, when performing a physical exercise, the rate of respiration increases markedly, while, if you are going through a specific pathology, the respiratory rate may decrease considerably; however, in any circumstance, it is essential to carry out a medical consultation to know if said alteration is typical or not in each patient.

Tachypnea refers to an increase in respiratory rate, popularly called rapid breathing. If you want to know more about this pathology, in the following FastlyHealarticle, we offer you much information about Tachypnea: what it is, its causes, and its symptoms.

What exactly is Tachypnea?

Tachypnea is the respiratory rate above what is considered normal for each person, depending on their gender and age. This alteration must be cared for correctly. If it persists for an extended period, it causes oxygen not to enter the bloodstream correctly, causing cell death or damage to them.

In adults, the average respiratory rate is 16 to 20 breaths per minute in resting conditions or after some mild physical activity, so any breathing greater than this amount can be classified as Tachypnea; however, this is not considered to be severity unless they reach or exceed 30 breaths per minute. When this happens, oxygen consumption is too low and does not reach adequate levels, resulting in the generation of various alterations.

In children, the respiratory rate oscillates between 12 and 35 per minute when it has not been subjected to significant physical effort. This can vary depending on age; as the child grows, the breaths per minute decrease. The little ones suffering from Tachypnea can stop breathing suddenly because the most dangerous consequence is its effect on the muscles, weakened by the lack of oxygen and heavy breathing, making it one of the most determining signs of alteration in children.

In newborns, breathing is faster, so they have 40 breaths per minute, and, in many cases, it can even reach 60 and be considered normal. For this reason, doctors usually diagnose Tachypnea in newborns when the breaths exceed 60 per minute, while in infants between 4 and 11 months when it is greater than 40 breaths.

Tachypnea: causes

Tachypnea appears when the respiratory system does not receive a sufficient amount of oxygen, which can be caused by a large number of cardiac and respiratory disorders, among which the following stand out:

  • Asthma
  • Suffocation
  • Heart failure
  • Pneumonia or some other type of lung infection
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD

Likewise, different chronic pulmonary alterations can also cause Tachypnea, anxiety, exercise, and intense physical effort. Other causes of this alteration in respiratory rate can be:

  • Obesity
  • Dehydration
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Poisoning
  • Pneumothorax
  • Alterations in the trachea
  • Loss of blood
  • Consumption of certain medications such as cholinergic, salicylates, and anticholinergics.

Main symptoms of Tachypnea

Although the symptoms of Tachypnea can vary depending on the cause that is causing it, there are specific symptoms that can be frequent in most cases. It can be present when the patient is in motion or even if he is entirely at rest. The most common symptoms of Tachypnea are:

  • Feeling short of breath
  • Feeling drowned or suffocated.
  • Have trouble breathing normally.
  • Feeling a tightness in the chest.
  • Suffering from an inability to get enough air.

It is essential to be aware of these symptoms and not try to treat them at home or associate them with more controllable causes such as anxiety. In addition, as these symptoms can refer to a wide variety of pathologies, a medical consultation must be carried out urgently since it can be a much more severe alteration that endangers the patient’s life.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Tachypnea: what it is, causes and symptoms , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .

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