Abnormally slow breathing.
Bradypnea is a medical term used to describe abnormally slow breathing, with a respiratory rate that is slower than the normal range for an individual’s age and health status. In adults, the normal respiratory rate is typically between 12 and 20 breaths per minute at rest. A respiratory rate of less than 12 breaths per minute is considered bradypnea.
Bradypnea can be caused by a variety of factors, including certain medications, metabolic imbalances, neurological disorders, and respiratory muscle weakness. In some cases, it may also be a normal variation in individuals who have a naturally low respiratory rate.
Some common signs and symptoms associated with bradypnea include dizziness, fatigue, confusion, shortness of breath, and decreased exercise tolerance. In more severe cases, bradypnea can lead to respiratory failure, which is a life-threatening condition.
Treatment for bradypnea will depend on the underlying cause of the slow breathing. For example, if bradypnea is caused by a medication, discontinuing the medication may be necessary. In cases where the underlying cause is a medical condition, such as sleep apnea or a neurological disorder, treatment may involve addressing the underlying condition in addition to managing the symptoms of bradypnea. In severe cases, mechanical ventilation may be necessary to support breathing.