(HealthDay News) -- Tachypnea is the medical term for breathing that is abnormally rapid and shallow.
If you have the condition, the University of Maryland Medical Center says possible causes include:
- A chronic respiratory illness, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- An infection of the lungs, such as pneumonia.
- Chest pain.
- A blood clot in the lung, sometimes called a pulmonary embolism.
Symptoms of rapid, shallow breathing should not be self-treated, and are "generally considered a medical emergency," the hospital warns.