An increase in the number of breaths per minute may indicate that a person is having trouble breathing or not getting enough oxygen. The breathing rate is decided by counting the number of times the chest rises and falls within a minute.
A bluish color seen on the skin around the mouth, on the inside of the lips, or on the fingernails may occur when a person is not getting as much oxygen as needed. The color of the skin may also appear pale or gray.
A grunting sound can be heard each time the person exhales. This grunting is the body’s way of getting more air into the lungs than from a normal breath.
The openings of the nose spreading open while breathing may indicate that a person is having to work harder to breathe.
The chest appears to sink in just below the neck, under the breastbone and ribs, and/or between each rib with each breath – one way of trying to bring more air into the lungs.
There may be sweat on the head, but the skin does not feel warm to the touch. Often the skin may feel cool or clammy. This may happen when the breathing rate is very fast.
A tight, whistling or musical sound heard with each breath, mainly when breathing out, may mean that the air passages may be smaller, making it more difficult to breathe.