6 Types of Breathing Problem: Explained In 2024

Last Update On: April 30, 2024 | Artilcle Author:

An adult takes 12 – 20 breaths per minute when resting. I believe you are now checking your breath counting rate after learning the stat. You can measure the rate within 15 seconds; how? Count how many breaths you take in 15 seconds and multiply the number by 4, easy-peasy!

If you are taking less than 12 breaths/minute, you probably have a breathing problem. There are different types of breathing problems: Dyspnea, Hyperventilation, Tachypnea, Bradypnea, Kussmaul Breathing and Hyperpnea. Depending on the problem types, solutions are also available.

This guide extensively discusses different breathing problems and how to avoid them.

Keep on reading!

Types of Breathing Problems, Explained

If you can’t breathe enough air, you might have breathing problems. Researchers found 6 different breathing problems. Learn them by reading the below.

Types of Breathing Problems

1. Dyspnea

“Shortness of breath” is known as dyspnea. This breathing problem is common in lung and heart problems. Sometimes, it can be a symptom of a severe heart attack and asthma attack. If you ever feel dyspnea suddenly, don’t be late to consult a doctor.

However, dyspnea can also happen due to high altitude, obesity or poor physical workout. In this situation, doctors generally advise special breathing exercises or give oxygen therapy.

Dyspnea is 4 different types, and its causes are also different.

  • Orthopnea: While lying down, you may have orthopnea if you feel a breathing problem. When blood formation occurs in the lungs or has a minor heart attack when resting in bed, the situation can be controlled if you sit or stand up.
  • Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea: Symptoms of this dyspnea are similar to orthopnea. The difference is that signs may appear in the night when you suddenly wake up. Solutions are also the same as orthopnea.
  • Trepopnea: When lying on a particular side, either on the left, right or another way around, trepopnea can happen. No worries if trepopnea occurs; simply take a few deep breaths and be relaxed and calm.
  • Platypnea: This is the rarest dyspnea that occurs when you are standing. Lie down, and you will feel better.

2. Hyperventilation

Sometimes you might have experienced breathing faster than your body requirement. This way, you are releasing too much carbon dioxide. It upsets the balance in your blood.

Asthma, anxiety, exercise, etc., are the reason for hyperventilation. As a result, you may feel confused, weak and dizzy.

In order to maintain the balance in your blood, the traditional solution is to breathe in a paper bag in such situations. Thus, you hold the carbon dioxide in the bag and take it in again while breathing.

However, doctors have different solutions. They recommend taking a deep breath through your mouth and releasing breath via your nostrils. Even doing so, if you feel short of breath, get help from your family members or friends.

3. Tachypnea

If your breathing rate is faster than usual, you may have tachypnea. It means your lungs have a limitation of breathing air. Generally, this symptom appears when a person has pneumonia, COPD, or obesity. In such conditions, you take more breaths to keep the required amount of oxygen flowing into your body.

Often this problem is found in infants having short of breath problems. Consult your doctor when tachypnea happens.

4. Bradypnea

This breathing problem is the opposite of tachypnea, which means you are breathing slower than required. During this situation, your body is not getting enough oxygen, and you will experience dizziness.

Drug overdose, sleep apnea, metabolism problems, etc., are responsible for bradypnea.

5. Kussmaul Breathing

People suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis experience Kussmaul breathing problems. The pattern of breathing will be faster and deeper when it occurs.

Usually, our body uses sugar for energy, but it is not the same for diabetic patients. Stored fats get burnt for energy in terms of diabetic patients, and thus acid levels in the blood increase. In this case, the body tries to balance the level by releasing more carbon dioxide. As a result, a person breathes faster and deeper.

Make an appointment with your physician and follow the prescription.

6. Hyperpnea

When you are breathing more but not faster than usual, it is called hyperpnea. The prime reason for hyperpnea is exercise. Other reasons also include sepsis, heart failure, etc.

Visit your doctor and get advice for further treatment.

Suggested: How to Avoid Breathing Problems

By maintaining a well-structured life, you can easily avoid breathing problems. Here are a few tips to avoid breathing difficulties.


Many research stated that yoga is quite effective in reducing breathing problems. Yoga increases the functionality of the lungs. Thus, a person can exercise for a long time without worrying about the shortness of breath. Moreover, a person will feel relaxed and calm and avoid asthma triggers as well by doing yoga.

Pursed Lip Breathing:

You might have heard about this for the first time. It is a breathing practice where you need to take a deep breath through your nose. Then release the breath twice via the mouth. When releasing, pucker the lips like you are blowing on hot foods. This practice lets your airways keep open.


According to Dr. Stephanie Gray, probiotics create a good barrier against inflammation and infection in the mucus membrane. This way, the mucus membrane becomes stronger than before. Also, probiotics like Saccharomyces, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus reduce airway irritation due to allergy, asthma or viral infections.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

Polyunsaturated fat is naturally available in seeds, nuts, and fish. Regular consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids minimizes infection at the cellular level. The National Academy of Medicine recommends a level of taking Omega-3. For men, 1.6 g/day. While for women, 1.1 g/day. Maintain this recommended level to get the best benefit.

Stay Hydrated:

Your respiratory mucus system will remain thin when you drink a lot of water. Large particles will easily get trapped in the thin mucus respiratory system, and your lungs can clean themselves.

Keep Your Home Well-ventilated and Dust-free:

Make your bedroom and living room well-ventilated. Also, clean your home at least once a week. This way, you can keep your home dust-free, a common reason for allergic asthma.

Be Active and Lose Weight:

Obesity is one of the main reasons for breathing problems. At the same time, if you have asthma and are overweight, the situation can be worse. In this case, you need to cut weight by doing regular exercise. But there is a misconception that asthma sufferers can’t do exercise. In fact, people with asthma can do limited exercise as per a doctor's consultation. Be active, lose weight, remain fit, and get rid of breathing problems and other health concerns.

Stop Smoking:

Smoking causes many health complications like COPD, lung cancer, etc. As per the National Cancer Institute’s gov website, you will notice major benefits like comfortable breathing within 14 days of being tobacco-free.

Final Thought

Different types of breathing problems can easily be avoided by living a healthy life. If you ever face breathing difficulties, visit a doctor without fail. Follow the doctor's prescription and advice. Breathing problems can appear again if you don’t follow the medications, and your life will fall in danger.

Regular exercising and practicing yoga will help increase your lung capacity. Once you are familiar with exercise and yoga, handling breathing problems will be easier than before. So, keep your lungs healthy and have a happy life.


Evan Skylar

Hi! Evan Skylar here! I’m a huge tech enthusiast and professional product tester with extensive work experience in some of the most eminent tech giant companies in the world. Love to play with new gadgets and explore what’s new in the tech world. Besides, I also like to share my knowledge on the latest innovations which made me quite popular in my surroundings, leading me to open this website. If you need a tech friend in need, I’ll be that friend indeed! Stay connected!

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