There needs to be no introduction brought in about why and how oxygen is important for our survival. Without oxygen there can be no us, so that pretty much rules out our existence. Oxygen is transported to the varied body parts with the help of blood. Which then leads us to the query of what exactly happens when there are lowered blood oxygen levels in the body. The condition of lowered oxygen in the blood is known as hypoxemia and in this article we will explore this very issue and try and understand what the side effects of low oxygen levels in blood are.
Before getting into the effects of low blood oxygen levels in the body and what it spells for us, we need to first understand what can cause the oxygen levels to drop. Here are some of the main factors that can lead to this condition:
- Blockage of airway.
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). This leads to a blockage of the airway.
- The intake of narcotics and other medication forms that could lead to depression and lowering of normal breathing.
- Certain diseases like pneumonia, emphysema, and the like.
- Anemia. Lowered white blood cells affect the quantity of oxygen that is taken in.
- Being in high altitudes where there is less oxygen available in the air to begin with.
- Strenuous exercises
- Pulmonary edema, embolism, or fibrosis.
- Lung diseases which limit the proper transfer of air from the lungs to the blood.
- Sleep apnea
What are the symptoms of low oxygen levels that will come about in a person? Here are some of them.
- Shortness of breath and breathing difficulty
- Pain in muscles and joints
- Short term memory loss
And now to get you the most important function of them all. What exactly are the effects of low blood oxygen on the health and overall well-being of a person? Let us list these out.
This is the first major effect that will make way when there is less oxygen in the blood. Since the oxygen does not reach all the body parts in the profusion that it needs, the direct effect is that the bodily functions will be affected and therefore there will be less energy to carry on work. As a result, there will be the onset of fatigue which will be accompanied by the inability to work to one's full potential.
There will be shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. Which then affects the normal functioning of the human system. Since all the activities depend on breathing, there will be a drop in the efficiency of the person and how he/she carries on with work. The direct result of which is that the energy levels will drop and cause for complications like so.
Muscle Spasms/Joint Pain
When there is less oxygen in the blood, it affects the functioning of the muscles. The effects can be seen in the way the muscles begin to pain or in the way that there are spasms felt in the joints.
Another very important effect of low oxygen levels in the blood is seen to be in the onset of vision and eye problems. There might be pain experienced, as well as a compromise in the quality of the vision. There might be a hazy cover formed over the eyes as well as instances of blacking out or spots forming in front of the eyes.
Cyanosis is when the skin takes on a bluish tinge. This is caused as a direct result of less oxygen in the blood. Other than looking pale and sickly, there will be a risk to the health as well.
When there is obstruction in the lungs―which means that the oxygen cannot be transported from the lungs to the other parts of the body through the blood―there is extra pressure put on the heart. With the excess pressure put on the heart walls, there is a chance for a heart stroke or a heart attack making way.
Low blood oxygen level effects can lead to several complications, as is clear. That is why it is important to know what can happen when there is less oxygen making way into the body. Therefore, proper precautions need to be taken and the treatment methods need to be availed of as soon as possible.
Disclaimer - This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.