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[hahy-per-ven-tl-ey-shuh n] /ˌhaɪ pərˌvɛn tlˈeɪ ʃən/
excessively rapid and deep breathing.
a condition characterized by abnormally prolonged and rapid breathing, resulting in decreased carbon dioxide levels and increased oxygen levels that produce faintness, tingling of the fingers and toes, and, if continued, alkalosis and loss of consciousness.
1925-30; hyper- + ventilation Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hyperventilation
  • Despite the source of your fear, flying may make your heart race, your palms sweat and may cause hyperventilation.
  • hyperventilation is rapid or deep breathing that can occur with anxiety or panic.
  • The term hyperventilation is usually used if you are taking rapid, deep breaths because of anxiety or panic.
  • For example, hyperventilation is one of the primary physical manifestations of panic disorders.
British Dictionary definitions for hyperventilation


an increase in the depth, duration, and rate of breathing, sometimes resulting in cramp and dizziness
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for hyperventilation

1907, from hyper- + ventilation. Earlier as a type of treatment for lung diseases.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hyperventilation in Medicine

hyperventilation hy·per·ven·ti·la·tion (hī'pər-věn'tl-ā'shən)
Abnormally fast or deep respiration resulting in the loss of carbon dioxide from the blood, thereby causing a decrease in blood pressure and sometimes fainting.

hy'per·ven'ti·late' v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for hyperventilation

sustained abnormal increase in breathing. During hyperventilation the rate of removal of carbon dioxide from the blood is increased. As the partial pressure of carbon dioxide in the blood decreases, respiratory alkalosis, characterized by decreased acidity or increased alkalinity of the blood, ensues. In turn, alkalosis causes constriction of the small blood vessels that supply the brain. Reduced blood supply to the brain can cause a variety of symptoms, including light-headedness and tingling of the fingertips. Severe hyperventilation can cause transient loss of consciousness.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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