What is Hypoxia?
Hypoxia is a medical term that describes the lack of sufficient oxygen to maintain normal life functions. Hypoxia can vary in intensity and can be acute or chronic. Some tissues can tolerate hypoxia for a certain time period, while others are severely damaged by oxygen deficiency.
Symptoms that may occur in this condition include:
- Changes in the color of the skin (bruising);
- Shortness of breath, rapid breathing;
- Cough, wheezing;
- Chronic fatigue;
- Pain and/or tightness in the chests, etc.
If hypoxia affects the brain the symptoms include:
- Difficult concentration;
- Temporary memory loss;
- Reduced ability to move;
- Difficulty making sound decisions;
Sometimes hypoxia is used as a synonym of hypoxemia. Hypoxemia is actually a term that means low oxygen saturation of arterial blood. Hypoxemia can lead to hypoxia in various tissues and organs.
If hypoxia affects the brain, it can quickly cause brain damage or death.
The types of hypoxia are:
- Hypoxic hypoxia – lowering of the partial pressure of the oxygen in the inhaled air or difficulty in penetration of oxygen through the airways;
- Hematological hypoxia – decreased ability of hemoglobin to bind and transport oxygen molecules;
- Circulatory hypoxia – impaired function of the cardiovascular system;
- Mixed hypoxia – a combination of the above types.
Hypoxia may be due to:
- Respiratory diseases – bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary edema, pneumonia, emphysema, etc.;
- Diseases of the circulatory organs – myocardial infarction, heart failure, pulmonary embolism, aortic valve stenosis, pulmonary hypertension, cardiac shunt, stenosis of the tricuspid valve, etc.;
- Injury, poisoning and external factors – mountain sickness, inhalation of carbon monoxide, inhalation of smoke, inhalation of sulfur dioxide, etc.
- Infectious and parasitic diseases – hoof, diphtheria, hantavirus infection;
- Congenital abnormalities, deformations, and chromosomal aberrations – pulmonary arteriovenous malformation, congestive heart failure, etc.;
- Diseases of the digestive system – acute pancreatitis, hepatic failure;
- Endocrine system diseases, nutrition and metabolism disorders;
- Diseases of the nervous system – neuroleptic malignant syndrome;
- Some conditions occurring in the perinatal period – neonatal asphyxia.
Variety of tests is performed to diagnose hypoxia – blood tests, imaging tests, tests of the nervous system.
Treatment of hypoxia depends on how long has last the oxygen deprivation. It aims to get body’s oxygen levels back to normal. This may include putting the patient on a ventilator to get enough oxygen or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
What is Anoxia?
Anoxia is a medical term, describing the condition when the body or parts of it completely loss oxygen supply. Usually, the anoxia is a result of hypoxia.
The anoxia hinders the functioning of the organs that need oxygen to function, like the heart, kidneys, brain, and different bodily tissues.
The untreated lack of oxygen is extremely harmful and can even be deadly.
Anoxia is especially harmful to the brain. Few minutes of anoxia can cause irreversible damage to it. The complete lack of oxygen kills the brain cells and affects brain’s functions. The longer anoxia is more likely to cause long-term complications and death.
If the anoxia affects the brain, the symptoms include:
- Personality and mood changes;
- Changes in judgment;
- Loss of memory;
- Slurred speech;
- Troubles in moving of the limbs;
- Concentration problems.
If the brain has experienced anoxia for four to five minutes other symptoms appear, including, hallucinations, seizures, and sudden loss of consciousness.
The types of anoxia are:
- Anoxic anoxia – due to an insufficient amount of oxygen;
- Anemic anoxia – occurs when the blood can’t transport sufficient amount of oxygen to the organs;
- Toxic anoxia – results from poisoning with toxins;
- Stagnant anoxia – occurs when blood doesn’t reach a certain organ that needs it.
The causes of anoxia are:
- Low concentration of hemoglobin or ineffective hemoglobin in the blood;
- Intake of toxins or other chemicals;
- Poisoning with carbon monoxide;
- Cardiovascular problems: heart failure, stroke, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, etc.
- Limited amount of oxygen at high altitudes;
- Hindered work of the lungs, ex. due to choking, near drowning, suffocation, pneumonia, asthma, etc.
Variety of tests is used to diagnose anoxia. These are blood tests, imaging tests, tests of the nervous system.
Treatment of anoxia depends on how long has last the oxygen deprivation. It aims to get body’s oxygen levels back to normal. This may include putting the patient on a ventilator to get enough oxygen or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Difference Between Hypoxia and Anoxia
Hypoxia: Hypoxia is a medical term that describes the partial lack of oxygen in the body tissues.
Anoxia: Anoxia is a medical term that describes the complete lack of oxygen in the body tissues.
Hypoxia: The types of hypoxia are: hypoxic hypoxia, hematological hypoxia, circulatory hypoxia, and mixed hypoxia.
Anoxia: The types of anoxia are: anoxic anoxia, anemic anoxia, toxic anoxia, and stagnant anoxia.
Hypoxia: The more complete the oxygen deprivation, the more severe the effect to the affected tissue.
Anoxia: The effect is more severe than in hypoxia due to the full lack of oxygen.
Hypoxia Vs. Anoxia: Comparison Chart
Summary of Hypoxia verses Anoxia
- Hypoxia is a medical term that describes the partial lack of oxygen in the body tissues.
- Anoxia is a medical term that describes the complete lack of oxygen in the body tissues.
- The hypoxia can be hypoxic hypoxia, hematological hypoxia, circulatory hypoxia, and mixed hypoxia.
- The anoxia can be anoxic anoxia, anemic anoxia, toxic anoxia, and stagnant anoxia.
- The more complete the oxygen deprivation, the more severe the effect to the affected tissue. The effect of anoxia is more severe than the effect of hypoxia, due to the complete lack of oxygen.