Yawning involves opening the mouth involuntarily with a prolonged, deep inhalation of air, as from drowsiness or weariness.
Yawning is a normal response to fatigue and drowsiness, but excessive yawning can be caused by a vasovagal reaction and may indicate a heart problem.
Normal yawning may be induced when the brain or lungs are not getting enough oxygen (or when someone else yawns).
- Drowsiness or weariness
- Disorders associated with excessive daytime sleepiness
- Vasovagal reaction o Heart attack o Aortic dissection
Follow prescribed treatment for dealing with the underlying cause.
Call your health care provider if
- There is any unexplained and excessive yawning.
- The yawning is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness.
What to expect at your health care provider’s office
The health care provider will obtain your medical history and will perform a physical examination.
Medical history questions documenting excessive yawning in detail may include the following:
- Time pattern o When did the excessive yawning begin? o How many yawns per hour or day? o Is the yawning consistent throughout the day? o Is it worse in the morning, after lunch, or during exercise? o Is it worse in certain areas or certain rooms?
- Does yawning interfere with normal activities?
- Aggravating factors o Is the increased yawning related to amount of sleep received? o Is it related to use of medications? o Is it related to activity level? o Is it related to boredom?
- Relieving factors o What helps it? o Does rest help? o Does breathing deeply help?
- Other o What other symptoms are also present? o What medications are being taken?
Diagnostic tests that may be performed may include sleep studies.
by Levon Ter-Markosyan, D.M.D.
All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.