What if my loop volume is too low?
Breathing too low of a loop volume is quite uncomfortable. It makes you air hungry and short of breath, partially because you are retaining CO2. It leads to insufficient and ineffective breathing with underutilization of lung segments.
What happens if my loop volume is too large?
You might have difficulty exhaling. If you cannot exhale, you cannot inhale! This situation gives you the sensation that you “cannot breathe” and you start grabbing for your bail-out regulator unless you remedy your counterlung volume. Another hint is that your OPV goes off or you get puffy cheeks. But the biggest complaint is “I did not have enough gas to breathe”.
In closing, rather than being managed by our loop volume, why don’t we manage it? Even experienced CCR veterans are not immune to a runaway loop. It takes awareness and then a little practice getting right.