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Breathing Pattern Disorders

Most people have never heard of a breathing pattern disorder (BPD), let alone considered that their symptoms are caused by one, and when it’s diagnosed I’m usually told “I didn’t even realise I was doing it!”.  To be quite honest, breathing pattern disorders aren’t picked up that well by medical professionals either and this is something I want to change! It is estimated that 10% of the population have a breathing pattern disorder and many of these people are living with significant symptoms which are not being identified and managed effectively.

What is a breathing pattern disorder?

Breathing is something we give little or no thought about unless it goes wrong, and this is exactly what happens with a breathing pattern disorder – something knocks your normal breathing cycle off balance. For some people the changes are small, such as mouth breathing rather than nose breathing or breathing from the upper part of the chest, but for others they may be over breathing, and this is known as hyperventilation syndrome (HVS).

Why do these changes happen?

Some people have an identifiable cause such as a stressful life event or illness or even something as normal as pregnancy, but for others it’s difficult to say. Either way, it isn’t necessary to know when or what started it, the important thing is that we’ve noticed it and we can work to stop it happening. 

Every person has a unique set of symptoms but the most frequently seen are outlined below.


Do you have any of these symptoms? 

Breathing Disorder-diag.png

If so, you may have an altered breathing pattern.*


If you think you have a breathing pattern disorder and want further information or want to start a management programme get in touch here

*Many of the mentioned symptoms can also be caused by serious medical conditions so please make sure they have been appropriately investigated by a medical professional before self-diagnosing a breathing pattern disorder. 

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