The respiratory rates vary depending on a variety of health conditions and behaviors. Adults and infants have different respiratory rates.
The respiratory rate is the rate at which the body breathes each minute, which is one of the most vital signs, along with pulse, blood pressure, and temperature.
When a person breathes, oxygen enters the lungs and reaches the organs. Through exhalation, carbon dioxide leaves the body. The normal respiratory rate plays an important role in maintaining the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Adults have a normal respiratory range.
Although the average respiratory rate varies slightly from person to person, nurses and doctors consider a certain range to be normal.
A stable adult’s respiratory rate is between 12 and 20 breaths per minute. At that rate of breathing, carbon dioxide leaves the lungs at the same rate that it enters. Breathing rates of less than 12 or more than 20 may indicate a change in normal breathing patterns.
How to measure respiratory rate
To determine whether a person’s breathing rate is normal, it is necessary to measure at rest. Remember that exercise or even walking can affect a person’s breathing.
To get an accurate measurement, look at the person’s chest up and down or use a breath rate monitor. A complete inhalation consists of inhalation when the chest is raised, followed by one exhalation when the chest is lowered. To measure your breathing speed, calculate the number of breaths per minute or count 30 seconds and multiply that number by two.
What does it mean if your breathing rate is abnormal?
The basic area of the brain controls respiration. The brain sends signals from the brain to the respiratory muscles. Most breathing occurs automatically, which means the person does not have to think about it. Sometimes, the body needs a breath rate monitor to check the breathing speed. Receptors in the brain detect low oxygen or high carbon dioxide and send a signal to the body, which changes the respiratory rate.
Having an abnormal respiratory rate may indicate a number of things. In some cases, a high or low respiratory rate is caused by activities such as exercise and is not an indication of something is wrong.
However, sometimes illnesses, injuries and substances can change your breathing. In medicine, an abnormal breathing rate can be a sign of a health problem.
A study of more than 15,000 people visiting the emergency department said high respiratory rates are an indicator of worsening medical problems after leaving the device. People with high respiratory rates return to the hospital more often than those with a normal respiratory rate.
There are several factors that affect a person’s breathing, including trauma, exercise, mood, and various medical conditions.
Common causes of shortness of breath include:
Anxiety: People can breathe faster when they are afraid or worried. Tachycardia or hyperventilation are common symptoms of panic attacks. Tachycardia usually passes when anxiety passes.
Fever: When the body temperature increases with the fever, the respiratory rate can also increase. Ascension is the way the body tries to remove heat.
Respiratory diseases: Lung diseases such as asthma, pneumonia and COPD can make breathing difficult, which can cause an increase in respiratory rate.
Heart problems: If the heart is not pumping properly to deliver oxygen to the organs, the body can respond by breathing faster.
Dehydration: Dehydration can increase your respiratory rate while your body tries to attract energy to your cells.
Causes of low respiratory rate
Factors that can cause low respiratory rates include:
Overdose: Overdose of drugs, such as drugs, can depress the airways in the brain, resulting in a low respiratory rate.
Obstructive sleep apnea: Sleep apnea refers to blockage of the airways, usually caused by relaxation of the soft tissues of the throat. The blockage causes temporary apnea and can decrease the overall respiratory rate.
Head Injury: A head injury can affect areas of the brain that play a role in breathing, which can cause less breathing.
Normal breathing speeds vary with age and level of activity. But conditions, including illness and injury, can make respiratory rates too high or too low.
It is important to measure the respiratory rate accurately to determine if it is abnormal. In some cases, an abnormal respiratory rate may indicate a possible illness that needs treatment.