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Diseases reference index «Yawning - excessive»

Yawning involves opening the mouth involuntarily while taking a long, deep breath of air. This is usually done as a result of drowsiness or weariness. Excessive yawning is yawning that happens more often than would be expected, even if drowsiness or weariness is present.

Considerations

Yawning is a normal response to fatigue and drowsiness, but excessive yawning can be caused by a vasovagal reaction. This reaction is caused by the action of a nerve, called the vagus nerve, on the blood vessels. It may indicate a heart problem.

Normal yawning may happen when someone else yawns.

Causes

  • Drowsiness or weariness
  • Disorders associated with excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Vasovagal reaction
    • Heart attack
    • Aortic dissection

Home Care

Follow the treatment for the underlying cause.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

  • You experience unexplained and excessive yawning.
  • The yawning is associated with excessive daytime sleepiness.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The health care provider will get your medical history and do a physical examination.

Medical history questions may include:

  • When did the excessive yawning begin?
  • How many times do you yawn per hour or day?
  • Is the yawning the same throughout the day?
  • Is it worse in the morning, after lunch, or during exercise?
  • Is it worse in certain areas or certain rooms?
  • Does yawning interfere with normal activities?
  • Is the increased yawning related to the amount of sleep you get?
  • Is it related to use of medications?
  • Is it related to activity level?
  • Is it related to boredom?
  • What helps it?
  • Does rest help?
  • Does breathing deeply help?
  • What other symptoms are present?
  • What medications are you taking?

Diagnostic tests that may be performed include sleep studies.

Alternative Names

Excessive yawning

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