Usually, breathing is an involuntary reflex. Most people go for long periods without any awareness of the rate at which they are breathing. This is because the human body automatically regulates breathing depending on the need for oxygen at that time. Hyperventilation occurs when the normal pattern of breathing is interrupted. The reaction can have various causes, both physiological and psychological. People who experience frequent episodes may require medical treatment.
This occurs when a person breathes too rapidly. During an episode, the individual breathes out more air than he or she is breathing in. Therefore, the quantities of gases in the bloodstream becomes unbalanced -- the level of carbon dioxide becomes too low. When levels of carbon dioxide fall, blood vessels constrict. This narrows the vessels carrying blood to the brain and reduces the amount of blood that can reach this vital organ.
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