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Factors Affecting Respiratory Rate

When people are experiencing difficulties in breathing, it is more likely that they will ask themselves the question “what is the normal respiratory rate?” In this article, we are going to discuss the normal range of respiratory rates for both adults and young ones.

What is the Rate of Breathing or Respiratory Rate?

Breathing rate can be defined as the total number of breaths one breathes in one minute period while resting. You cannot determine the rate of breathing when your body is on an activity such as walking or exercising. This is because the rate of breathing usually rises during an activity. Oxygen saturation in our blood greatly affects the rate of breathing.

Some types of infections can also increase the rate of our breathing especially those infections that affect our breathing system such as tuberculosis. The primary purpose of breathing is to offer cells and tissues oxygen in order to generate energy for our body and in turn the used oxygen is exhaled out of our body in form of carbon dioxide.

There are times when this system does not work correctly possibly when you are undergoing a treatment process. Some medicines greatly impact our rate of breathing for example if you are on a narcotic medication you are highly likely to experience breathing problems.

When is Breathing Rate Considered Abnormal?

If you have an increased or reduced breathing rate that is a sign that there is something wrong in your body and you should see your doctor as soon as possible. A proper diagnosis is necessary as an abnormal rate of breathing does not indicate the problem you are suffering.

Types of Breathing Problems

Apart from having a high breathing rate and a low breathing rate, there are other breathing problems which include: Bradypnea which refers to having a low respiratory rate, Tachypnea having a high breathing rate, Dyspnea which refers to having shortness of breath, Hyperpnea this is simply having rapid breaths which can be deep, and apnea which means lack of breath.

How Do You Measure the Rate Breathing?

For accurate measurement is it advisable to measure during the rest period and the number of breaths should be counted for a minute. Please note that many factors affect the rate of breathing so when taking this measurement, it is good you understand them. Here is the list of possible causes of the rise in breath rate, Acidosis, Asthma, Dehydration, Fever, Heart Condition, Infection, Lung condition among others. The factor that leads to low respiratory rate includes Alcohol Consumption, Brain Conditions such as damage, Metabolism among others.

What is the Normal Breathing Rate for adults?

When resting an adult should have a respiratory range of 12 and 18 breaths per minute. Breaths higher than 24 indicate a problem and you should seek medical attention.

What is the Normal Breathing Rate for Children?

In children, the rate of respiration is a bit complex as it entirely depends on the age of a child, for the newborn they have a range of 30-60 breaths per minute while those going to school should have a breath rate of about 18-30 breaths per minute.