What Is Hypoxia
What Is Hypoxia

What Is Hypoxia? Here are 4 Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

What Is Hypoxia?

What is hypoxia? Hypoxia is a condition of low oxygen levels in the body tissues. When the body does not have enough oxygen levels in the system, you can get hypoxia.

Then what are the differences between hypoxia vs hypoxemia?

Although similar, hypoxia and hypoxemia difference are actually very obvious. If hypoxia is a term for a condition of low oxygen in the tissues, hypoxemia is a condition of low oxygen in the blood.

Hypoxia and hypoxemia are two distinct conditions, which are often used for a number of similar symptoms. If you know the difference between hypoxia and hypoxemia, you also need to understand the impact of these two conditions.

You can be said to have hypoxia when the oxygen level in the in the body tissue is below the 60 mm Hg. The reason is, oxygen levels in the body tissues are ideally located at 75-100 mm Hg.

Hypoxia is a dangerous condition, because the brain, liver, and other organs can be damaged rapidly when not get enough oxygen. This condition can also occur in premature babies, because their lungs have not developed perfectly.

Hypoxia should be treated immediately, because otherwise, the condition is potentially causing problems in the body’s organs.

Types of hypoxia based on the cause

After knowing What Is Hypoxia, then what is the types of hypoxia?

Here are the types of hypoxia based on the cause you need to know, namely:

Anemic hypoxia

The lack of blood capacity that affects the disruption of oxygen supply results in the type of hypoxia named Anemic hypoxia.

The cause of this hypoxia occurs when:

  • Contaminated carbon monoxide (CO) poison.
  • Blood deficiency (anemia)
  • Red blood cell damage disease (eg. methemoglobinemia).

Stagnant hypoxia

The type of hypoxia based on the causes of hypoxia is stagnant hypoxia. The condition also known as hypoperfusion (decrease in blood flow that passes through certain organs or tissues) occurs because:

  • Blood flow from the arteries to the organ stopped (occurs in patients with arterial thrombosis or gunshot wounds)
  • Cardiac organ disorders such as ventricular fibrillation and bradycardia.

Histotoxic Hypoxia

Histotoxic hypoxia is a type of hypoxia based on the cause of hypoxia that is impaired in the body cells when using oxygen. Cyanide poisoning is the cause of why body cells may experience such disorders.

Hypoxic hypoxia

The cause of this hypoxia occurs when the oxygen levels in the arteries are decreased. This is made possible by a number of conditions, such as:

  • Lung disease (pulmonary edema, asthma, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, pneumothorax, lung cancer)
  • Be in low oxygen place (mountain peaks, fire locations, under water)
  • The use of drugs that trigger breathing stops.

Some risk factors also contribute to the cause of a person to suffer from hypoxia, namely:

  • Air pollution
  • Exposure to chemical substances
  • Cigarette smoke exposure
  • Impaired cardiovascular organs and respiration.

Symptom of hypoxia

Symptoms of hypoxia may suddenly arise, quickly deteriorate (acute), or chronic. Here are some common symptoms of hypoxia:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Confusion.
  • Sweating.
  • The skin changes color, to blue or purplish red.
  • Hard to breathe
  • Hallucinations.
  • Cough.
  • Fatigue.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • The breath sounds (wheezing).

Hypoxia can also cause complications if there is an error in the handling. Excessive oxygen administration can actually poison the body tissues or commonly called hyperoxia. This could lead to:

  • Cataracts.
  • Vertigo.
  • Convulsions.
  • Behavioral changes.
  • Pneumonia.

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately for immediate treatment. Even if the advanced symptoms have disappeared, you should still be advised to consult a doctor.

Hypoxia treatment

What Is Hypoxia - Treatment

Treatment step in overcoming hypoxia, among others:

  • Providing additional oxygen by using a hose or a mask connected to the oxygen cylinder, to help the body’s oxygen levels back to normal. This is to reduce the risk of organ damage.
  • The installation of an airway or ventilator is to connect the respiratory tract to the ventilator machine, using the hose inserted from the throat until passing through the vocal cords.
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), for the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning. The sufferer will be inserted into a high-pressure room (hyperbaric) with pure oxygen.

Read also: Toxic Shock Syndrome: The Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Thank you very much for reading What Is Hypoxia? Here are 4 Types, Symptoms, and Treatment, hopefully useful.

What Is Hypoxia? Here are 4 Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Post in | Last updated: May 12th, 2020 |