Yawning - excessive Definition
Yawning involves opening the mouth involuntarily while taking a long, deep breath of air. This is most often done when you are tired or sleepy. Excessive yawning that happens more often than expected, even if
drowsiness or weariness is present is considered excessive yawning.
Causes may include:
Drowsiness or weariness
Disorders associated with excessive daytime sleepiness
Vasovagal reaction (stimulation of a nerve called the vagus nerve), caused by heart attack or aortic dissection
Brain problems such as tumor, stroke, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis
Certain medicines (rare)
Problem with the body's temperature control (rare) Home Care
Follow the treatment for the underlying cause.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if:
You have unexplained and excessive yawning.
The yawning is associated with being very sleepy in the daytime. What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The health care provider will get your medical history and do a physical exam.
You may be asked questions such as:
When did the excessive yawning begin?
How many times do you yawn per hour or 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 medicines?
Is it related to activity level or boredom?
Do things such as rest or breathing deeply help?
What other symptoms are present?
You may need tests to look for medical problems that are causing the yawning.
Your provider will recommend treatment, if needed based on the results of your exam and tests.
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Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 70.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, medical director and director of didactic curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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