Excessive yawning is defined as experiencing 1 to 4 yawns per minute over an extended period of time. Most doctors believe that yawning is triggered by a low level of oxygen in the blood. Yawning causes the blood oxygen level to raise, improving alertness and stamina. Yawning is usually associated with being tired or bored, but it is usually due to lack of oxygen. However, frequent yawning does not necessarily mean your blood oxygen level is low. Excessive yawning is the symptom of several health disorders, so if it is something you experience on a regular basis, talk you your doctor.
Excessive yawning can be a symptom of several maladies, including epilepsy, progressive supranuclear palsy, brain tumors, anxiety, heart attack, encephalitis and multiple sclerosis. Excessive yawning may also be the side effect of a medication you are currently taking, including antidepressants and medications for Parkinson's Disease. Do not be alarmed if you are experiencing excessive yawning, but see a doctor promptly.
If excessive yawning is your only symptom, a doctor will probably ask you to report back to him if you are experiencing any other symptoms. At this point, you may want to get as much rest as possible and be on the lookout for accompanying symptoms. Getting plenty of rest should be your first method of attack, but if the excessive yawning still continues, consider getting blood tests and possibly a CAT scan done by your doctor.
The most common maladies related to excessive yawning are sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnea and even mononucleosis. Your doctor may also suggest, if you have no accompanying severe symptoms, that you are yawning frequently because you have a high sensitivity to other people yawning. The triggering of the need to yawn is usually visual and psychological, so this is not an entirely strange diagnosis. If these diagnoses are addressed and the patient is not taking any medication that may cause frequent yawning, more tests should be done in order to determine a potentially more serious cause.
Excessive yawning does not necessarily mean a person is exhausted or fatigued. When you are in public situations, however, people may misconstrue your yawning symptom as being bored or tired. In order to minimize the noticeably of your frequent yawning, cover your mouth with your hand or a tissue while yawning. If excessive yawning continues, make an appointment with your doctor.
Do not allow your case of excessive yawning to go untreated if you feel it is causing you problems. Your doctor will work with you in finding your correct diagnosis. If you have any serious symptoms accompanying your excessive yawning, including migraines, fainting, numbness in the extremities or blurred vision, see a doctor immediately and request thorough testing. Throughout the process of finding a diagnosis, get plenty of rest and monitor the excessive yawning throughout the period of searching for a diagnosis.