Hypoxia occurs when the body is deprived of oxygen. In order to perform the most basic functions, the brain relies on oxygen. Due to the deprivation of oxygen, the brain is unable to function properly. It can lead to permanent brain damage or even death. People who survive the disease of hypoxia may suffer from lifelong aftereffects. The brain, liver and other organs can get damaged due to the deprivation of oxygen. It can also have adverse effects on the body cells that perform prominent biological processes. Any type of hypoxia can occur due to various causes. The symptoms of hypoxia can be acute or severe. Hypoxia can be categorised as local or generalised. If hypoxia is affecting a specified area of the body then it is known as local hypoxia. On the other hand, when hypoxia affects the whole body then it is known as generalised hypoxia.

Hypoxia is generally of four types including:

- Hypoxic hypoxia: This type of hypoxia occurs because of the decrease in the pressure of oxygen in the blood vessels.

- Anaemic hypoxia: In this type, the lungs work properly. The capacity of blood for carrying oxygen is reduced. The problem is due to lesser haemoglobin in the body as happens with the patient of anaemia.

- Stagnant hypoxia: Stagnant hypoxia occurs because of reduced flow of blood to the tissues. It implies that regardless of oxygen and haemoglobin partial pressure, adequate oxygen is not delivered to the tissues. It is also known as ischemic hypoxia.

- Histotoxic hypoxia : Histotoxic hypoxia occurs due to the decreased capability of the tissues to use the oxygen. It happens because the tissues have been poisoned.

Symptoms of Hypoxic

A problem in breathing is one of the major symptoms of hypoxia. In hypoxia, people generally feel like they cannot breathe properly, make efforts to catch their breath or suffer from a fast heartbeat rate. Infants and children are not generally able to recognise the symptoms of oxygen deprivation. Check out the common signs of hypoxia:

- The patient may get confused and changes in mood or personality are noticed.

- Pupils are not able to respond to the light as they do normally.

- Due to the deprivation of oxygen, lips, tongue, or face turns blue or white.

- You may lose the consciousness in hypoxia which includes seizures or fainting.

- People face a problem in breathing as they have to make a struggle to catch their breath.

- Some people are not able to speak properly because of choking.

- People may feel that their heart rate is fast than normal.

- Sweating, cough, and wheezing are some of the other symptoms of hypoxia.

If you have any of these symptoms then you should reach out to the best doctor immediately for the checkup.

Causes of Hypoxic

Hypoxia can occur due to various factors including a severe asthma attack. Due to an asthma attack, the airways become narrow which makes it tough to get air into your lungs. You cough in order to clear your lungs and for this, you need more oxygen which makes your symptoms even worse. Trauma can cause damage to lung resulting in hypoxia. Check the various causes of hypoxia:

- If people with poor health record travel to high altitudes places then it can contribute to hypoxia.

- If the sleeping environment is not safe or you sleep in improper positions then it may lead to hypoxia.

- Various lung diseases can lead to hypoxia including bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, and emphysema.

- Various heart diseases can also contribute to hypoxia.

- Medicines taken for chronic pain and other drugs that help in holding the breath back can cause hypoxia.

- Anaemia is a condition in which the count of red blood cells is low. This condition can result in hypoxia.

- Cyanide poisoning, inhalation of smoke, and allergies are some of the other causes of hypoxia.

How is it diagnosed?

As soon as you discover that you are suffering from the symptoms of hypoxia, you should reach out to the best doctor for the diagnosis. Your doctor will conduct a physical examination in which he or she will ask about the symptoms that you are experiencing medical history in order to identify the exact cause of hypoxia. Check out the various methods that are used to check the presence and extent of hypoxia:

- Arterial blood gas test (ABG test): It is a diagnosis method done to measure the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. It also helps to determine the pH of your blood or how acidic your blood is. People generally know this test as a blood gas analysis.

- Pulse oximetry: It is a noninvasive method that measures the saturation level of your oxygen or the oxygen levels in your blood. In this, hypoxia is measured with the help of a pulse oximeter. It is placed at the tip of your finger and the equipment is connected to the monitor. Your doctor can continuously monitor the percentage of oxygen saturation on the screen.

Your doctor may conduct other diagnostic blood tests and imaging tests in order to find out the exact cause of your hypoxia and determine the treatment option appropriate for your type of hypoxia.

Prevention of Hypoxic

The major cause of hypoxia is asthma. If you want to prevent yourself from hypoxia then you should keep your asthma under control. Make sure that you are following the treatment plan for asthma as prescribed by your doctor. You can prevent yourself from hypoxia by avoiding situations due to which the concentration of oxygen reduces in the environment or using oxygen masks. Check out the various ways that will help you to get prevention from hypoxia:

- In order to prevent flares, take your medicines as recommended by your doctor or use an inhaler.

- Carbon monoxide detectors are very helpful when you are going to high altitude places.

- Always keep yourself active. For this, you should do physical exercises daily.

- It is important that you eat the right food in order to stay away from hypoxia.

- It is important that you understand your asthma triggers and also determine various ways to avoid those triggers.

- You should always keep checking your blood pressure and sugar levels.

- If you are suffering from anaemia then you should keep checking your haemoglobin to confirm that tissues are getting enough oxygen as required.

Treatment of Hypoxic

Hypoxia is a disease which requires immediate treatment. Some people wait for a long time in order to get the treatment. But, it should not be done as hypoxia can lead to major complications if left untreated or not treated properly on time.

- You should visit a hospital around you for the treatment of hypoxia. It will help you to check your level of oxygen.

- Hypoxia occurs due to the deprivation of oxygen in your body. Due to the lack of oxygen, your body is not able to function properly. That is why it is important that you get enough oxygen as required by your body. You can get enough oxygen into your body by using a small plug in your nose.

- The other way to receive the oxygen is through the use of a mask that covers your mouth and nose. These are generally used by most of the people to bring the oxygen level up to normal.

- Medicines for asthma or an inhaler by mouth helps you to breathe easily without any difficulty.

- If medicines for asthma or an inhaler by mouth does not work then your doctor might recommend you to get the medicines through a vein in your arm.

- If there is shrink inflammation or swelling in your lungs then you might require steroid drugs for a short duration of time.

- If your life is in some danger and all the other treatment options are not working then your doctor might recommend you a machine that will help you in breathing.

Complications of Hypoxic

Hypoxia is a serious problem and associated with various complications. It should be treated immediately as it can lead to a serious problem if left untreated or not treated properly on time. Many people ignore the problem of hypoxia without knowing that ignorance can lead to permanent harmful effects on health or sometimes even death. So, it is important to ask a doctor as soon as he or she recognises the symptoms or signs of hypoxia. Check out various complications that are associated with hypoxia:

- Brain damage and paralysis: Due to hypoxia, the brain is not able to function properly as it does not receive enough oxygen required. Hypoxia can lead to brain damage, paralysis, and stroke.

- Cardia arrest: Hypoxia or lack of adequate oxygen supply can be a significant factor that can lead to a cardiac arrest. In cardiac arrest, your heart suddenly stops pumping blood to all the parts of the body.

- Death of body tissues contributing to gangrene: Hypoxia can contribute to the death of body tissue or necrosis. In gangrene, tissue dies due to an inadequate supply of blood. So, hypoxia can cause the death of body tissues and the death of body tissue can lead to gangrene.

- Cerebral Palsy: When your brain is not able to receive enough oxygen as required then it can lead to damage of brain tissue contributing to cerebral palsy.


In hypoxia, your body does not receive enough supply of oxygen. Stagnant hypoxia, histotoxic hypoxia, hypoxic hypoxia, anaemic hypoxia are the various types of hypoxia. Due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to liver, brain and all other organs of the body, a person would experience an immediate damage of all these organs. It is a serious condition if not treated properly on time or left untreated then it may cause serious complications or even death sometimes. Sweating, cough, wheezing, confusion, changes in mood or personality, loss of consciousness are some of the common symptoms of hypoxia. You should reach out to the best doctor as soon as you experience any symptom of hypoxia. Various heart and lung diseases, improper sleeping positions, unsafe sleeping environment, anaemia and medicines for chronic pain can be some of the causes of hypoxia.

Arterial blood gas test (ABG test) and Pulse oximetry are some of the diagnostic tests conducted by your doctor in order to find out the exact cause of your hypoxia and determine the treatment option appropriate for your type of hypoxia. Your doctor will provide you best treatment option as per your type of hypoxia, medical history and extent of hypoxia. You should always keep a check on your haemoglobin, blood pressure and sugar levels in order to prevent yourself from hypoxia. You should keep yourself fit by doing exercises daily and eating healthy food. Brain damage, paralysis, cerebral palsy, the death of body tissues contributing to gangrene and cardiac arrest are some of the complications associated with hypoxia.

If you are looking for the answer to various questions including:

- What is hypoxia?

- What are the symptoms or signs of hypoxia?

- What are the causes of hypoxia?

- How is hypoxia diagnosed?

- How is hypoxia prevented?

- How is hypoxia treated?

- What are the complications of hypoxia?

Then you are in the right place. Please go through the information given above.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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