A Guide to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Guide to Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (CO Poisoning)

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms: Light-Headedness

The "reel" deal:
When someone is exposed directly to carbon monoxide (CO) gas, their body can become quickly destabilized from the toxins. As the CO molecules mix with the hemoglobin in their bloodstream, they create a formidable, poisonous compound capable of overpowering and replacing the healthy oxygen molecules. The result: a sudden shortage of the vital blood hemoglobin needed to keep oxygen in constant circulation with the brain. Light-headedness is one of the most common warning signs related to people suffering from this type of deficiency. Fact is, even a single round of carbon monoxide exposure is capable of rapidly taking its victim to dangerously dizzying heights if left unnoticed. Light-headedness is also among the more challenging symptoms to diagnose and ultimately link with the toxic substance.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms: Light-HeadednessBy any other name:
The term "light-headedness" can be used to describe a number of physical indications stemming from the brain. For some individuals, it means a dizzy feeling; others might connect it with a disorienting sense of imbalance, particularly when they are in motion. Light-headedness may also be the word for wanting to faint, or to denote that the room is spinning! It can wreak havoc with horizontal and vertical visual coordination, touch and pressure sensations, as well as sound emission and reflection in the ear canal. With so many possible factors at work to cause so many similar effects, the conclusive diagnosis of the problem becomes muddy. In the end, the vagueness involved when trying to assess light-headedness, coupled with the fact that the symptoms may be brief, chronic or a recurring issue, can make carbon monoxide poisoning much more difficult to determine as the instigator.

Balancing out:
Sometimes light-headedness is evidence that a deeper-rooted medical health condition exists which needs to be looked after and treated medically. However, many cases have pinpointed the source to a preventable circumstance: manifestation through carbon monoxide exposure.

A person exhibiting light-headedness under the suspicion of being in a toxic CO environment should relocate themselves someplace where the air is fresh and lie down for a period of rest. Doing so increases the blood flow back to the brain, making them less prone to a fainting spell. Since exposure to carbon monoxide can dehydrate the body overall, replenishing it with plenty of fluids can further help to alleviate the dizzy side-effects. Even if the CO concentration was only low to moderate, the exposed individual may still experience residual light-headedness for a day or two after removing his or herself from the carbon monoxide source. A couple of days relaxing and consuming an abundance of liquids such as juice, tea and soup should be enough to get things back on track.

When in doubt:
What makes carbon monoxide so menacing is its ability to bond swiftly and firmly to the blood hemoglobin in the body upon inhaling it. In certain extreme cases, the victim’s blood supply is simply not resilient enough to sustain the damage and properly restock the body with healthy oxygen. And so, if the light-headedness remains unchanged or gradually gets worse within a few days, the sufferer should seek medical attention without further delay. A doctor can run some basic oxygen level tests to establish the next course of action and ensure that the problem has not spiralled into a more serious or life-threatening predicament.



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