Respiratory acidosis treatment is initiated according to the underlying cause. Thus, it differs for every affected individual. This article provides some information on the same.
Respiratory acidosis is a medical condition, which refers to the inability of the lungs to remove all the carbon dioxide from the body. This disturbs the acid-base balance in the body. As a result, some body fluids including blood, turn acidic. This condition is also referred to as ventilatory failure or respiratory failure. Furthermore, it aggravates every time a person consumes something that produces acid in blood. The pH drop in blood stimulates the parts of brain, which are responsible for controlling breathing. The brain tries to combat this problem by rapid and deeper breathing, in order to expel carbon dioxide. If the amount of carbon dioxide in blood goes beyond control, then it may lead to severe acidosis or even coma.
The treatment highly depends upon its causing factor. In any case, it is always aimed at improving the function of lungs. The various options are as follows:
They are particularly effective in curing respiratory acidosis caused due to diseases of the airways. Bronchodilators like albuterol open the airways, so as to facilitate the breathing process. This is more beneficial for the people affected by asthma and emphysema.
They are recommended in cases of severe respiratory acidosis. It includes breathing with the support of mechanical ventilators, in order to increase the oxygen supply in the blood. Oxygen can also be supplied through mask or small tubes, however, care must be taken that the amount of oxygen does not exceed the prescribed level. Over oxygenation can worsen this medical condition in the people affected with lung diseases.
They are used to treat respiratory infections that might result due to this condition. However, they are not of much help to cure the underlying causes of the same.
If this medical condition is attributed to the effects of narcotics, then naloxone is the drug that is recommended in such cases. Drug overdose has a suppressing effect on the respiratory function. Naloxone reverses this effect and facilitates normal breathing.
Mild cases of the same can be treated by administration of intravenous fluids. These fluids are directly injected in the veins of the affected person, so as to control the pH of the blood. For severe cases, sodium bicarbonate can be given as an intravenous fluid for direct effect. Although, this can provide temporary relief to the person, it is not recommended in the long run. Bicarbonate tends to overload the body with sodium and water, which can be harmful.
- Medical conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which affect the working of airways
- Diseases such as scoliosis, which reduce the capacity of lungs to empty and fill
- Diseases of muscles and nerves which result in the failure of lungs to inflate or deflate
- Drugs or pain killers which suppress breathing
- Severe obesity which limits the capacity of lungs to expand
- Easy fatigue
- Shortness of breath
Respiratory acidosis can lead to further complications such as poor organ function, respiratory failure, and shock. Hence, one should seek medical help as soon as he/she experiences its symptoms. This would enable one to get the proper treatment and reduce the possibility of complications.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.