Hypoxia vs. hypoxemia: Compare causes, symptoms, treatments & more

Hypoxia vs. hypoxemia causes | Prevalence | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatments | Risk factors | Prevention | When to see a doctor of the church | FAQs | Resources
blood is the body ’ second hyper-efficient transportation system, and it deals in two basal commodities : nutrients and oxygen. Organs and muscles need both to operate, so a insufficiency of either nutrients or oxygen can cause health issues. Hypoxia and hypoxemia both business the soundbox ’ s oxygen levels. Because they have alike spellings, these two conditions are frequently confused. While they can co-occur, they ’ re reasonably unlike .
In short, hypoxemia refers to low oxygen message in the rake, whereas hypoxia means low oxygen supply in bodily tissues. In many cases, hypoxemia points to hypoxia since humble oxygen concentration in the rake frequently affects oxygen rescue to the tissues. They can besides have alike symptoms, making the two even more unmanageable to discern. That ’ randomness where this guidebook comes in handy. It ’ s an in-depth spirit at hypoxia vs. hypoxemia, everything from causes to treatments, to distinguish between them.

Causes

Hypoxia

Any condition or consequence that reduces oxygen intake can reduce the total of oxygen in bodily tissues. Causes of hypoxia include :

  • Asthma attacks and lung diseases. These conditions commonly cause hypoxia since they directly restrict oxygen supply.
  • Ineffective oxygen transport. Heart diseases that affect cardiac output can inhibit blood flow and anemia (caused by low levels of healthy red blood cells) can reduce the amount of oxygen that blood can deliver.
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19). More recently, the novel coronavirus has emerged as another common cause.
  • Low oxygen concentration in the surrounding air. High altitudes might be a cause of hypoxia, especially for individuals with pre-existing risk factors.
  • Carbon monoxide or cyanide. Poisoning by carbon monoxide or cyanide in a person’s environment can cause sudden hypoxia without hypoxemia.

Hypoxemia

There are five independent causes of hypoxemia : not adequate lineage hang or oxygen to the lungs ( ventilation-perfusion mismatch ), rake entering the left english of the heart without being oxygenated first gear ( right-to-left shunt ), impaired movement of oxygen from the lungs into the bloodstream ( diffusion disability ), shallow and ineffective breathe ( hypoventilation ), and low environmental oxygen. The underlie factors that can cause hypoxemia are relatively exchangeable to those that cause hypoxia. For this reason, the causes of hypoxemia and hypoxia can overlap. basically, anything that reduces the ability to intake oxygen or oxygenate the blood can be a cause. early causes of hypoxemia include :

  • Asthma attacks
  • Lung diseases
  • Heart diseases
  • Anemia
  • High altitude
  • Lung trauma
  • Recently, COVID-19 has been causing a phenomenon called “silent hypoxemia” or “happy hypoxia,” in which a patient shows little to no symptoms but still has low blood oxygen levels.

Hypoxia vs. hypoxemia causes

Hypoxia
Hypoxemia

  • asthma
  • Chronic clogging pneumonic disease ( COPD )
  • emphysema
  • bronchitis
  • pneumonic edema ( fluid in the lungs )
  • pneumonic embolism
  • pneumonic fibrosis
  • Heart disease
  • COVID-19
  • pneumonia
  • high altitudes
  • Carbon monoxide poison
  • anemia
  • Cyanide poison
  • asthma
  • Chronic clogging pneumonic disease ( COPD )
  • emphysema
  • bronchitis
  • pneumonic edema ( fluid in the lungs )
  • pneumonic embolism
  • pneumonic fibrosis
  • Heart disease
  • COVID-19
  • pneumonia
  • high altitudes
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • anemia
  • sleep apnea

Prevalence

There are a few studies on the preponderance of hypoxia or hypoxemia in specific situations, but none on the general rate of happening in the U.S. at any given time .

Symptoms

Hypoxia

The symptoms of hypoxia can vary based on the condition ’ mho cause and severity. generally, they include coughing, wheezing, increase heart rate, headache, and a blue coloring material in the skin, lips, or fingernails ( called cyanosis ). severe cases might even cause faint or seizures. In the case of cerebral hypoxia ( low oxygen in the brain ), a person might experience confusion, difficulty talk, impermanent memory passing, difficulty moving, or coma .
Chronic or less austere cases of hypoxia can cause general fatigue and shortness of breath, particularly after physical bodily process .

Hypoxemia

Since both of these conditions deal with a miss of oxygen, they have alike symptoms excessively. People with hypoxemia may experience shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, concern, rapid pulse, confusion, and cyanosis. severe cases can besides cause hypoxemic respiratory failure, characterized by low rake oxygen levels but normal carbon dioxide levels .

Hypoxia vs. hypoxemia symptoms

Hypoxia
Hypoxemia

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headache
  • Skin discoloration
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Fainting
  • Temporary memory loss
  • Difficulty moving
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Headache
  • Skin discoloration
  • Confusion

Hypoxia diagnosis

equally long as the patient international relations and security network ’ t in straiten, a doctor will typically start with a physical examination to evaluate the heart and lungs. If they recognize signs of hypoxia, they will probable move on to other tests. Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive test where the sophisticate uses a fingertip detector to measure blood oxygen levels. An arterial rake natural gas trial uses a blood sample to measure the fond atmospheric pressure of oxygen ( PaO2 ), oxygen saturation, the partial blackmail of carbon dioxide, and rake ph levels .
If the doctor suspects cerebral hypoxia, they might besides order an MRI, CT scan, echocardiogram, or electroencephalogram ( EEG ) .

Hypoxemia

Tests for hypoxemia are largely the like. They normally involve a physical examination, followed by pulse oximetry or arterial blood boast tests. Lung officiate tests, which measure the measure of air inhaled and exhaled, plus oxygen pitch efficiency, can besides help confirm a diagnosis .

Hypoxia vs. hypoxemia diagnosis

Hypoxia
Hypoxemia

  • physical examination
  • Pulse oximetry examination
  • Arterial lineage boast screen
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • CT scan
  • echocardiogram
  • electroencephalogram

Hypoxia treatments

The most common hypoxia treatment is oxygen therapy, which provides auxiliary oxygen via a face mask or tubes placed in the nose or trachea. In hard cases, mechanical ventilation might besides be necessary. To support heart officiate, a doctor might besides give their patient intravenous fluids or medications to raise blood pressure or restrict seizures ( specially in cases of cerebral hypoxia ) .

Hypoxemia

similarly, oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation are the most common treatments for hypoxemia. Doctors might besides prescribe medication using an inhaler to assist with breathe .
Depending on the lawsuit, it might besides be necessary to get to the solution of hypoxemia by treating an implicit in condition, such as pneumonia or emphysema. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics or steroids to treat these underlie conditions .

Hypoxia vs. hypoxemia treatments

Hypoxia
Hypoxemia

  • oxygen therapy
  • mechanical public discussion
  • intravenous fluids/medication
  • inhaler
  • oxygen therapy
  • mechanical ventilation
  • intravenous fluids/medication
  • inhaler

Risk factors

Any preexistent stipulate that reduces oxygen consumption or prevents oxygen transport can increase the risk of hypoxia. so, people who have asthma, COPD, emphysema, bronchitis, or early lung diseases are at higher risk. Experiencing patronize altitude changes, like airline pilots and staff do, may besides result in a higher casual of hypoxia. Given its damaging effects on the lungs, smoke is besides a meaning risk factor .
Heart disease can inhibit oxygen delivery ( and vice versa ), which can increase the risk of hypoxia. early factors associated with center disease such as fleshiness, high cholesterol, and a family history of kernel disease may besides contribute to hypoxia risk .

Hypoxemia

Hypoxemia has many of the lapp risk factors. Any condition that prevents the body from getting enough oxygen can potentially cause it. Conditions include preexistent lung diseases like asthma, COPD, emphysema, and bronchitis, equally well as environmental changes like elevation and carbon paper monoxide inhalation. life style habits that can cause lung and heart issues—like smoke, insalubrious diet, and inactivity—may besides put person at a higher gamble of developing hypoxemia .

Hypoxia vs. hypoxemia risk factors

Hypoxia
Hypoxemia

  • asthma
  • preexistent lung diseases
  • Altitude changes
  • Smoking
  • fleshiness
  • high cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • asthma
  • preexistent lung diseases
  • Altitude changes
  • Smoking
  • fleshiness
  • gamey cholesterol
  • Heart disease

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Prevention

Hypoxia

Preventing hypoxia requires managing chronic health conditions, avoiding life style gamble factors, and being mindful of the environment. person with hard asthma or COPD will want to take order medications systematically and schedule regular doctor visits. person who smokes and/or is physically sedentary will want to quit smoke and increase their physical action .

Hypoxemia

again, prevention largely consists of getting discussion for fundamental conditions and making healthy life style decisions .

How to prevent hypoxia and hypoxemia

Hypoxia
Hypoxemia

  • oversee preexistent conditions
  • Treat underlie conditions
  • drop out or avoid smoking
  • use regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • cope preexistent conditions
  • Treat underlie conditions
  • drop out or avoid smoke
  • exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet

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When to see a doctor about hypoxia or hypoxemia

Both conditions are serious. Restricting weave oxygenation, particularly in the organs and the brain, can have unplayful consequences. Anyone who experiences a sudden and/or dangerous shortness of breath, specifically when it inhibits their ability to function normally, should seek aid from a health care professional. Shortness of breath that occurs during rest or inactiveness ( or in the middle of the night ) is particularly concerning. A person with preexistent lung conditions or other risk factors should visit a repair immediately if they experience the symptoms listed above .

Frequently asked questions about hypoxia and hypoxemia

Does pulse oximetry measure hypoxia or hypoxemia?

Pulse oximetry is a noninvasive quiz that measures blood oxygen saturation. It can directly detect hypoxemia. Blood oxygen levels can be a aim index of tissue oxygenation, thus pulsate oximetry can diagnose hypoxia ampere good .

Are hypoxia and hypoxemia the same?

No, but they ’ re closely related. Hypoxemia is characterized by gloomy oxygen content in the blood, while hypoxia means low oxygen content in bodily tissues. Because blood flow delivers oxygen to tissues, hypoxemia can suggest or cause hypoxia, and the two often occur together.

What are the clinical signs of hypoxia vs. hypoxemia?

The clinical signs of hypoxia and hypoxemia are alike. Both conditions can cause shortness of hint, cough, wheezing, headache, confusion, and bark discoloration. cerebral hypoxia ( low oxygen in the mind ) can besides cause trouble address, irregular memory loss, reduced apparent motion, and coma .

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